Elizabeth Campbell

Elizabeth Ann Campbell


  • Faculty

What I do

Professor of History
Director, Center for Art Collection Ethics (ACE)

Professional Biography

I teach courses in modern European and French history, including the French Revolution, Europe during the World Wars, Nazi art looting, and seminars on the history and memory of World War II in France and the Algerian war of independence. My first book, Defending National Treasures: French Art and Heritage under Vichy, (Stanford University Press, 2011), examines French cultural policy during the German occupation, including the Vichy regime's reaction to Nazi looting of Jewish art collections. Drawing on research in French archives, I argue that curators and museum directors aimed to acquire plundered works permanently for the Louvre and other state-run museums, complicating an enduring narrative of anti-Nazi Resistance in the fine arts administration.

My current book project, Museum Worthy: Nazi-Era Art in Postwar Western Europe, focuses on the Allied recovery of plundered art, comparing restitution practices in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. In all three cases, postwar governments held unclaimed works for display in state-run museums, setting the stage for controversy and litigation in the 1990s, and ongoing cultural property disputes. (Oxford University Press, forthcoming)

Recognizing the importance of provenance research and the ongoing need for training of current and future museum professionals, in the spring of 2017 I began developing plans for The Center for Art Collection Ethics (ACE), in consultation with DU faculty and staff in related programs. I have served as Director since April 2018. We promote ethical art collection stewardship through social media and on-campus training programs.

Visit us at https://www.liberalarts.du.edu/ace, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @UofDenver_ACE. Follow me @prof_ecampbell.


  • Ph.D., History and French Studies, New York University, 2002
  • MA, French Studies, New York University, 1997
  • BS, International Relations, Georgetown University, 1992

Professional Affiliations

  • American Historical Association
  • Society for French Historical Studies
  • Western Society for French History
  • European Studies Association

Media Sources


History and legacy of Nazi art looting, postwar Allied art recovery and restitution, politics of memory in twentieth-century Europe.

Featured Publications

Campbell, Elizabeth. Museum Worthy: Nazi Art Plunder In Postwar Western Europe. New York: Oxford University Press. 2024.
Campbell, Elizabeth. “Le Patrimoine Artistique Sous Vichy.” In Pour Une Histoire Des Politiques Du Patrimoine. edited by Philippe Poirrier. Paris, France: Comite d'histoire du Ministere de la Culture. 2003.
Campbell, Elizabeth. “What's Wrong With This Picture: Casual Disregard Of History In George Clooney's The Monuments Men (2014).” Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 36, no. 3, (2016): 392-414.
Campbell, Elizabeth. Defending National Treasures: French Art And Heritage Under Vichy. Stanford, CA, USA: Stanford University Press. 2011.
Campbell, Elizabeth. “Recycling French Heroes: The Destruction Of Bronze Statues Under The Vichy Regime.” French Historical Studies 29, no. 1, (2006): 143-181.
Campbell, Elizabeth. “Rethinking Memory: The Musees De France And Jewish Art Collections In France, 1940 To The Present” Edited by Elizabeth Campbell. Western Society for French History. 2003.


Campbell, Elizabeth. “Plundered Monet On Display: A Cast Study From The Paul Rosenberg Collection” Annual Meeting, Victoria, British Columbia, Western Society for French History, 2022.
Campbell, Elizabeth. “Rose Valland, The Art Spy” Panel On Rose Valland, virtual, Sousa Mendes Foundation, Center for Art Collection Ethics, 2022.
Campbell, Elizabeth. “Legal And Ethical Challenges In Art Collection Stewardship” virtual, Holocaust Museum Houston, Center for Judaic Studies, DU, 2021.
Campbell, Elizabeth. “Why The Nazis Looted Art And Why It Still Matters” virtual, Holocaust Museum Houston, Center for Judaic Studies , DU; Rice University, 2021.
Campbell, Elizabeth C. “Restitution Of Nazi-Looted Art: Ethics And Methods” Annual Meeting, Virtual, International Society of Appraisers, 2020.
Campbell, Elizabeth. “Monuments Woman: Anne O. Popham And British Restitution Of Nazi-Looted Art” From Refugees To Restitution: The History Of Nazi Looted Art In The Uk In Transnational Perspective, Newnham College, University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), Sotheby's, 2017.
Campbell, Elizabeth. “Monuments Women And Men: Rethinking Cultural Recovery, 1945-53” Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN, Society for French Historical Studies, 2016.
Campbell, Elizabeth. “Heroism Real, Missed And Imagined In George Clooney's The Monuments Men” Society Of French Historical Studies Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada, 2014.
Campbell, Elizabeth. “Museum Worthy: Ownerless Art In Postwar France” Annual Meeting Sfhs, Los Angeles CA, Society for French Historical Studies, 2012.
Campbell, Elizabeth. “Contested Patrimony: The Schloss Art Collection” Annual Meeting, Boulder, CO, Western Society for French History, 2009.


  • History of Art Grant (PI), Samuel H. Kress Foundation
  • Summer Stipend, National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Public Good Grant, Center for Community Engagement to Advance Scholarship and Learning
  • Public Impact Fellow, University of Denver