Who’s who this week? A very young golfer, a diplomat and an artist

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19 year old Valentine Delon on the 18 th hole of the Sanglier course in Lyon

Three wonderful news this week in the Parisian world: Gérard Araud, 71,  former French ambassador to Washington, has been elected President of the powerful association of Les Amis du Louvre, Valentine Delon, 19, and a sophomore at Virginia Tech, has won the French amateur Ladies championship in Lyon. And Eva Jospin is exhibiting her 107 m long embroidered fresco in the Orangerie of Versailles. These three good surprises will help us get through the French elections which only bring out the worst in every party. Fights, jealousy and ultras… Read More

Hugues R. Gall has left us

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Hugues R. Gall with his slightly ironical smile

Born on March 18, 1940 in Honfleur from a Norman mother and a Bavarian father, Hugues R. Gall died in his sleep on May 25, in Nice, where he lived with dancer Eric Vu-An, who died exactly two weeks later. After studying at Sciences Po and completing a B.A. in German at the Sorbonne, his first professional steps were at Edgar Faure’s cabinet where he developed the teaching of music and the  arts for the baccalauréat and later at the University of Vincennes. Before working with Rolf Liebermann at the Paris Opera, he was secretary general of the Réunion des Théâtres Lyriques Nationaux in 1969, a first step in the career of running the Grand Théâtre de Genève (1980-1995) and the Paris Opera (until 2004), where he commissioned eighty new lyric productions and introduced sixty new ballets. He ended his professional career as an active member of Académie des Beaux arts and ran the House and gardens of Claude Monet in Giverny which received 760 000 visitors in 2023. He was adored by the gardeners and staff  who paid him a special tribute last Thursday, June 13, when he was buried in the cemetery of the Norman town. Read More

Bande dessinée, comic books, are the stars at Beaubourg

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The first room is devoted to the Counterculture of the 1960’s with Hara Kiri and Japanese magazine Garo

Centre Pompidou and musée d’Art moderne are a temple of fabulous contemporary artworks and its current exhibition of Brancusi is one of the most sought after in Paris today. But the news of the week is the “La B.D. à tous les étages” understand: Comic books on all floors, which the President, Laurent Le Bon, inaugurated last Tuesday with a large team of curators and Michel-Edouard Leclerc, a fervent collector. From 1964 to 2024, it tells the story of comic strips as works of art but also as objects of Laughter, Fright, Dreams, Personal Stories, History and Memory and Literature. The wonderful scenography by Laurence Le Bris makes it a joyful visit, with lots of surprises. I am not particularly a fan of comic strips but I came out happy and impressed by the multiple talents (130 authors) and the International attendance of this huge show located on four floors of the center.Read More

In Chantilly, André Charles Boulle glitters!

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Commode (one of a pair) 1708-1709, and behind left, pair of “scabellons”, 1684, both lent by Versailles and right, octogonal gaine, before 1686, Fondation Jacquemart André, Abbaye de Chaalis

At 37 and after two years of running Musée Condé in Chantilly, Mathieu Deldicque proves that research and integrity in art history are not only essential but also winning qualities when you organize an exhibition. The André Charles Boulle show that just opened, is a masterpiece of excellence as glittering as the exceptional bronze ornaments set on the royal desks created by the 17 th century cabinetmaker. At a time when all the luxury good companies emphasize the importance of “hand made”, this daring exhibition leads the way to more vocations, and studies of how the leaders of past centuries  expressed their power. Each of the fifty pieces is a work of art lent by the Wallace Collection and the V&A, the Rijksmuseum, châteaux de Versailles, Vaux le Vicomte, Balleroy and Dampierre, Abbaye de Chaalis and Bibliothèque Mazarine, for the suspensions. It is a revelation to see the evolution of all these desks from 1672 to 1720.Read More

Chez Marthe, a very moderate bistrot near the Bastille

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Grilled gambas with ginger cream

A dear friend who lives near the Bastille in trendy Paris, always takes me to nice restaurants and we had  fun over lunch at Chez Marthe, near rue de la Roquette. The service was delightful, the food mostly great and the bill extremely moderate (25 € each with coffee but no dessert) for lunch. The only drawback was the noisy ambiance but we did have two large tables of guests next to us… The owners also run the restaurant across the street “Papa Poule” which is larger and even cheaper…Read More

Stephen Shore’s photographs, from vehicular to vernacular

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Bellevue, Alberta, August 21, 1974

Clément Chéroux, director of Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson was quite funny when he gave us the title of the new exhibit he curated: “From Vehicular to Vernacular”. What he meant is that Stephen Shore and he chose pictures from the huge sum of shots by the American photographer (b. 1947), which had all been taken from a vehicle or more recently by a drone. This is his first exhibition in Paris in 19 years. A hundred images shot between 1969 and 2021, which are in black and white at first and explode into multiple colors later. “American Surfaces” and “Uncommon Places” are two of his most famous series characteristic of his “Americanness” and his taste for useful and popular vernacular topics. Read More

At Chimay, music reigns in the heart of Prince Philippe and Princesse Françoise

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The theater at Château de Chimay is inspired by Louis XVth’ theater in Fontainebleau

I had not been so moved by a concert in a private theater since I heard Natalie Dessay sing “the Queen of the night” aria at Château de Groussay in 2004… Last week, the occasion was the Royal Chamber orchestra of Wallonie performing Salieri, Mozart and Haydn in the ravishing theater of château de Chimay, in the South of Belgium. And Prince and Princesse de Chimay were hosting a group of friends a well as 150 members of the public who attend the concerts every month. This has to be the best kept secret in the music world! And I really loved Vahan Mardirossian‘s conducting, as well as soloists Jean Fréderic Molard at the violin and the alto Anne Pingen, who is quietly retiring after 42 years in the orchestra! Read More

Jardins Jardin celebrates its 20 th anniversary at Villa Windsor

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Villa Windsor, built in 1924, is being restored by Fondation Mansart

Everyone at “Salon Jardins, Jardin” was curious to discover the villa in the Bois de Boulogne where the Duke and Duchess of Windsor lived when in exile after the King’s abdication. The house was built in 1924 and served briefly from 1945 to 1946 as residence to General de Gaulle and his family. It was also rented for a while by the city of Paris which owns it, to Mohamed Al Fayed in the 1990’s and his dream was for Princess Diana and his son Dodi to move in there permanently. It has been empty since their death and is now being restored by Fondation Mansart, which was founded in 1983 by the Raindre family to preserve the château de Maintenon with the conseil général d’Eure et Loire. Its President, Albéric de Montgolfier (who used to be Conseiller général) is very active with its board of which Isaure and Vanessa Raindre are members: they have recently restored the Trianon de Bagatelle, also in the Bois de Boulogne. Read More