Monuments Woman Anne Olivier Bell Turns 100!

June 20th, 2016 | 1:00 am

Today is the 100th birthday of Anne Olivier Bell, one of just two living Monuments Women. Following the end of World War II in Europe, Anne was commissioned as a Major in the British Army and reported for duty to the British Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives headquarters in Bünde, Germany. There she coordinated day to day operations to recover works of art that had been stolen by the Nazis from caves and mine, where they had been hidden for safekeeping, including the spectacular discovery at Grasleben.

December 2007. At Winfield House, residence of the Ambassador of the United States to the United Kingdom, with Anne Olivier Bell and Ambassador Robert H. Tuttle. Photo Courtesy of Robert M. Edsel Collection.

Anne had another very successful career years later as a researcher for her husband Quentin’s book on his aunt, Virginia Woolf, and her own literary achievement, The Diary of Virginia Woolf. This five volume work consumed twenty-five years to complete.  It remains the definitive source on the life of Woolf.   For her achievements Anne was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She continues to devote time supporting the Charleston Trust, which manages Charleston House, country home of the historic Bloomsbury Group, an influential gathering of writers, artists, and philosophers.

The Monuments Men Foundation wishes Olivier, as she now prefers to be called, the very happiest of birthdays.

You can read more about Anne’s life at


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3 Responses to “Monuments Woman Anne Olivier Bell Turns 100!”

  1. Nathalie Farinola Renoir says:

    Madame Oliver,
    Joyeux 100 Anniversaire!
    Merci beaucoup pour votre travail merveilleux en préservant toutes les oeuvres d’art pour nous de bout aujourd’hui!
    Nathalie Farinola et Marie-Paule Renoir (widow of Paul Renoir, grandson of Pierre-Auguste Renoir)
    Cellular: 713.513.0818

  2. jesie says:

    the experience of Anne Olivier Bell was very impressive , very proud achievement , tremendous !

  3. Lyse F. says:

    Is there any way to contact Mrs. bell through emaill? I am writing a paper on art confiscation and destruction and would love to be able to email her.

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