Head Curator of the Palace of Versailles
1881-1973

A writer and curator with the national museum directorate, Pierre Ladoué was appointed head curator of the National Museum of the Palace of Versailles in 1938, succeeding the eminent Gaston Brière. In 1940, he was at the helm when the German troops seized control of the palace and the estate.

Full Name
Pierre Edmond Ladoué

Profession
Head Curator of the Palace of Versailles

Dates
1938 - 1940
Versailles during the Second World War

Predecessor
Gaston Brière

Successor
Charles Mauricheau-Beaupré

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.

Pierre Ladoué

© Archives of the Palace of Versailles


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.

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