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Archive for May 2009

The French Huguenots

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The French Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France (or French Calvinists) from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Huguenots became known for their criticisms of worship as performed in the Roman Catholic Church.

The Roman Catholic Church fanatically opposed the Huguenots, attacking pastors and congregants as they attempted to meet in secret for worship. The height of this persecution was St. Bartholomew’s Eve Massacre, but was preceded by much slaughter before that date.

By 1562, the estimated number of Huguenots in France likely peaked in number at approximately two million, compared to approximately sixteen million Catholics during the same period. As the Huguenots gained influence and displayed their faith more openly, Roman Catholic hostility to them grew, even though the French crown offered increasingly liberal political concessions and edicts of toleration.

In 1561, the Edict of Orléans declared an end to the persecution, and the Edict of Saint-Germain of January 1562 formally recognized the Huguenots for the first time. The Huguenots transformed themselves into a definitive political movement, adding wealth and holdings to the Protestant strength, which at its height grew to sixty fortified cities, and posed a serious threat to the Catholic crown and Paris over the next three decades.

In what became known as the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of 24 August – 3 October 1572, Catholics killed thousands of Huguenots in Paris. Similar massacres took place in other towns in the weeks following. In 1685, Louis revoked the Edict of Nantes and declared Protestantism to be illegal in the Edict of Fontainebleau. After this, the Huguenots fled.

A group of Huguenots under the leadership of Jean Ribault in 1562 ended up establishing the small colony of Fort Caroline in 1564, on the banks of the St. Johns River, in what is today Jacksonville, Florida. Barred from settling in New France, many Huguenots nevertheless moved to North America, settling instead in the Dutch colony of New Netherland (later incorporated into New York and New Jersey), as well as the Thirteen Colonies of Great Britain and Nova Scotia.

Huguenot immigrants founded New Paltz, New York, which has the oldest street in the current United States of America with the original stone houses, and New Rochelle, New York (named after La Rochelle in France). Louis DuBois, son of Chretien DuBois, was one of the original Huguenot settlers in this area. There was Huguenot settlement on the south shore of Staten Island, New York in 1692. The present-day neighborhood of Huguenot was named those early settlers. Some Huguenot immigrants settled in Central Pennsylvania. There, they assimilated with the predominately Pennsylvania German settlers.

American Huguenots readily married outside their immediate French Huguenot communities, leading to rapid assimilation. They made an enormous contribution to American economic life, especially as merchants and artisans in the late Colonial and early Federal periods.

Eight American Presidents (George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford and Lyndon Johnson) had significant proven Huguenot ancestry, as did founding fathers Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and Paul Revere. Twelve other U.S. Presidents had credible but unproven claims to Huguenot ancestors.

Written by Jon Cronin

May 28, 2009 at 21:04

Centre Pompidou Foundation: L.A.’s French connection

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The organization works to boost the American art quotient at France’s National Museum of Modern Art.
By Suzanne Muchnic
May 3, 2009
The Pompidou Center is a magnet for students, tourists and arts aficionados in central Paris, housing the National Museum of Modern Art, a public library and performance spaces in an inside-out building with mechanical systems encased in giant red, blue and green pipes and a view-to-die-for escalator in a transparent cylinder. But it gets by with a little help from its American friends — and they are based in Los Angeles.
The Centre Pompidou Foundation, a nonprofit organization that allows donors to reap tax benefits, acquires and encourages gifts of American art and design for the museum’s permanent collection. To be sure, it’s not the only U.S. group lending a hand to a government-supported bastion of high culture overseas: There are similar affiliations for the Louvre, St. Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum, Jerusalem’s Israel Museum and London’s Royal Academy of Arts, British Museum and Tate Gallery. All of those — including the American Friends of the Israel Museum, with a branch office in Beverly Hills — have their headquarters in New York. The Pompidou’s is the only group of its kind based in L.A.

Centre Pompidou Foundation

The organization works to boost the American art quotient at France’s National Museum of Modern Art.

The Pompidou Center is a magnet for students, tourists and arts aficionados in central Paris, housing the National Museum of Modern Art, a public library and performance spaces in an inside-out building with mechanical systems encased in giant red, blue and green pipes and a view-to-die-for escalator in a transparent cylinder. But it gets by with a little help from its American friends — and they are based in Los Angeles.

The Centre Pompidou Foundation, a nonprofit organization that allows donors to reap tax benefits, acquires and encourages gifts of American art and design for the museum’s permanent collection. To be sure, it’s not the only U.S. group lending a hand to a government-supported bastion of high culture overseas: There are similar affiliations for the Louvre, St. Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum, Jerusalem’s Israel Museum and London’s Royal Academy of Arts, British Museum and Tate Gallery. All of those — including the American Friends of the Israel Museum, with a branch office in Beverly Hills — have their headquarters in New York. The Pompidou’s is the only group of its kind based in L.A.

via: LATimes

Written by Jon Cronin

May 3, 2009 at 03:57

Posted in Art, French in America

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Chronicles of a Portraitist – Photos by Gérard Rondeau

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What do Susan Sontag, Gore Vidal, Jeff Koons, and Louise Bourgeois have in common? All have been photographed by Le Monde’s Gérard Rondeau, and their portraits, along with 96 others, will be on display at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy from April 27 to May 29, on the occasion of the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature. Weekday afternoons only, free admission.

Exhibit:
Chronicles of a Portraitist – Photos by Gérard Rondeau

Dates:
Monday April 27 – Friday May 29
Hours:
Weekdays from 1 pm – 5 pm (Closed weekends)
Admission: Free

Address:
Cultural Services of the Embassy of France
972 Fifth Avenue (at 79th St)
New York, NY

More Info: frenchculture.org

via: France Today

Written by Jon Cronin

May 1, 2009 at 14:39

Posted in Art, New York City

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French CanCan

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The artist Jean Marc Gady presents his “French CanCan” at the Gallery R’Pure.

3 East 19th Street, New York, NY

Open Monday – Thursday, 11:00am – 5:00pm and by appointment (646 572 3869).
All pieces are available at Gallery R’Pure. For information, contact : odile@galleryrpure.com.

Through May 19th.

via: France Today

Written by Jon Cronin

May 1, 2009 at 14:33

Posted in Art, Design, New York City

The Tournées Festival

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The Tournées Festival was conceived to encourage schools to begin their own self-sustaining French film festivals. Since its inception, the program has partnered with hundreds of universities and made it possible for more than 300,000 students to discover French-language films. The Tournées Festival distributes over $200,000 in grants annually.

We are delighted to be able to propose a varied selection of films, a wide array of genres, many French co-productions, and films by directors ranging from unique new voices to established figures. We hope you will be inspired by the selection of films and we look forward to receiving your application. We would like to invite you to apply for a grant from The Tournées Festival, a program of FACE, designed to help bring contemporary French cinema to your college or university campus.

Written by Jon Cronin

May 1, 2009 at 14:28

Posted in Cinema, Cultural Exchange

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French In America Photo of the Month

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Each month we pick a photo from our French in America Flickr Photo pool. We liked this one as we start to think of the Summer and July 14th! Please feel free to add your photos to our pool.

photo credit: The New York Observer

Written by Jon Cronin

May 1, 2009 at 14:15

World Nomads: Haiti – Inaugural Concert

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Inaugural World Nomads: Haiti concert featuring musical guest RAM and keynote speakers Jonathan Demme, Edwige Danticat, and Wyclef Jean

Friday, May 1 at 8pm
FIAF, Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street, NYC

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York’s premiere French cultural center, will launch the second edition of the World Nomads series celebrating transculturalism this Friday night, May 1, 2009, with a special concert featuring the legendary Haitian group RAM, and keynote speakers filmmaker Jonathan Demme, novelist Edwige Danticat, and musician Wyclef Jean.

World Nomads: Haiti will continue the celebration throughout the month of May at FIAF and partnering locations with concerts, film screenings, literary events, and a gallery show. For a full schedule of events, please visit: http://www.fiaf.org.  Please join us as we explore the diverse cultural landscape of Haiti with acclaimed Haitian artists and rising stars this May!

Buy Tickets
Ticketmaster.com
Call 212 307 4100

Fax the order form (pdf)

Visit the box office

Written by Jon Cronin

May 1, 2009 at 14:12