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Save the Date 2013 Old
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Black Tie International:
The American Friends of Blérancourt  Annual Gala Dinner

Ambassador Craig R. Stapleton

The American Friends of Blérancourt 
Annual Gala
The Harold Pratt House
58 East 68th Street (Park Avenue)

November 11, 2013

.  Photo by:  Andrew Werner

The American Friends of Blérancourt 2012 Gala
Photo by:  Andrew Werner


The American Friends of Blérancourt will host its Annual Gala Dinner at the
Harold Pratt House at 58 East 68th Street (Park Avenue) on Monday, November 11th;
cocktails and silent auction at 7:00 PM; dinner at 8:15 PM. The dinner will honor
Ambassador Craig R. Stapleton, former U.S. Ambassador to France who will receive
the Franco-American Award of Blérancourt for his contribution to maintaining excellent
French-American relations. “Blérancourt” refers to the Franco-American Museum
housed in the Blérancourt chateau in Picardy, France. The annual gala dinner raises funds
for the expansion of this museum as well as the multimedia project and the chateau’s
gardens. The museum was founded by Anne Morgan, daughter of the prominent
financier, following World War I.

Craig R. Stapleton served as Ambassador to France from 2005 to 2009. His publications include “Where Liberty Dwells, There is My Country, The Story of Twentieth-Century
American Ambassadors to France”
, written with Louise French McCready. This collection
of biographies of twentieth-century U.S. Ambassadors to France explores these
Ambassadors’ personal and professional lives as Franco-American relations were tested
at pivotal moments in world history. Currently, Ambassador Stapleton is the Chairman
 of the American Friends of the Château de Compiègne, a sister organization for the
 museum located near Blérancourt. He is a member of the Boards of Directors of the
American Hospital in Paris, the American Library in Paris Foundation, the American
Cathedral in Paris, Friends of the Hermione-Lafayette, the de Tocqueville Foundation, the International Advisory Board of Moët Hennessey among others.

The elegant French gala dinner menu has been personally created and prepared for the
occasion by award-winning French chef Daniel Boulud, who will be present.
The founder of several outstanding restaurants in various cities, he is most famous for
Daniel, his flagship New York City namesake, which was awarded three Michelin stars. Champagnes Paul Goerg is a major sponsor.

The Franco-American Museum curator from Picardy, Anne Dopffer, will give an
update on the exciting expansion project, which has been the major thrust of the
fundraising activities of the American Friends of Blérancourt. She will share the design and development of the project during the dinner. Weekend activities for benefactors and
sponsors include a reception at the studio of artist Hunt Slonem, a private showing of 
Paule Ka fashion designs and newly-opening boutique on Madison Avenue, and a
reception at Dumonteil Gallery on Park Avenue to view Camille Roche’s
“Splendor on the Riviera”.

In 1917 Anne Morgan, youngest daughter of Pierpont Morgan, returned to France,
determined to bring aid to the war-torn civilian population. She managed to be sent as
close as possible to the battlefront in Picardy, to Blérancourt, a little village dominated by
the ruins of a chateau built by one of France’s most prestigious 17th century architects,
the Huguenot Salomon de Brosse. Only two gate houses and the fraction of a wing
plus two monumental arches remained of the original structure, but Miss Morgan set to
work and made it her base for an extraordinary campaign of humanitarian aid.

She was joined by a committee of volunteer women from both France and the U.S.
and she worked closely with the American Field Service, of which Blérancourt was one
of its key centers. After the war she and her volunteer workers rebuilt entire villages
and brought doctors, nurses, teachers and agricultural experts from the U.S. to bring life
to the devastated region. At the same time she bought the chateau and decided to turn
Blérancourt into a museum of French-American history. The collections represent five
centuries of Franco-American relations. The success of Anne Morgan’s efforts hasmade her a legend in Picardy. In 1931 she gave the chateau and its collections to theFrench government.

In 1985 the American Friends of Blérancourt Inc. was founded by Baroness Bernard
d’Anglejan, who has been working tirelessly with President Mrs. Jean-Paul Anglès to raise
funds for the museum’s expansion. In 1989 the AFB completed a first addition,
the creation of the Florence Gould Pavilion. The museum is currently closed for
construction work on a large new extension, designed to double the exhibition space.
The American Friends are also responsible for the creation of several gardens and
an arboretum of American trees on the museum grounds. These remain open to
the public as are the two newly-restored gatehouses, the Anne Morgan Pavilion
in which Anne Morgan lived and the Bibliothèque Pavilion which houses the library.

The newly-expanded Franco-American Museum of the Château de Blérancourt
is scheduled to reopen in 2016 with new collections and a dynamic bilingual multimedia
program to welcome visitors.



Please Contact Judith Oringer, PR associate
(646) 552-6452,

Elaine Uzan Leary, Executive Director, AFB
 (212) 725-5380


joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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