A veteran of the First World War, Pierre Ladoué was appointed Deputy Curator of the Musée du Luxembourg in 1930, then Head Curator of the Palace of Versailles in 1938.
Second world war
Ladoué was thrown into preparations for “passive defence” as soon as he took up his post, with the prospect of a new world war looming large.
On 14 June 1940, he was present when the German army arrived and denounced the damage their soldiers caused to the palace interiors. Before the year was out he had resigned his post at Versailles and moved to the newly-created Museum of Modern Art in Paris’ Palais de Tokyo, where he worked for the rest of his career.
After the war
In 1960 he published a memoir entitled And Versailles Was Saved: Memoirs of a Curator, 1939-1941. The book recounts his efforts to protect the Palace of Versailles during the war.