French Heritage Society supporters gathered virtually for their Black and Red Ball honoring the renowned architect and designer Robert Couturier on November 19. Over 100 ardent Francophiles attended, dressed to the nines in black and red. The event’s chairmen were CeCe Black, Jean Shafiroff (wearing one of her signature ball gowns and long gloves), Geoffrey Bradfield, Elisa Fredrickson, and Ann Van Ness plus French Heritage Society Chairman Elizabeth Stribling.
I very much believe in the mission of French Heritage, and the work you have done,” said Couturier, “always choosing the right path, to help maintain the distinctive and integral French culture. I am deeply humbled by your kind attention.“ H.E. Philippe Étienne, Ambassador of France to the U.S., Mr. Jérémie Robert, Consul General of France in New York, Mr. Gaëtan Bruel, Cultural Counseor of the French Embassy, all joined in the tribute to Couturier, as favorite son of France, who is now proudly American, still “sharing the style of our nation.” The highlight of the evening was a tour of Couturier’s magnificent home in South Kent, CT.
The evening also included a message from Comte Denis de Kergorlay, president of French Heritage Society and a visit to Château de Goudourville, with a warm greeting from its owners Genevieve and Jean-Christophe Mifsud who spoke at length of the importance of their grant from French Heritage Society.
The night was a jolly success, culminating in three different virtual after parties, hosted by Robert Couturier, CeCe Black, and Elizabeth Stribling.
Patrons of the evening included Susanne Abplanalp and David M. Gray, Agnes R. Beane, Jean and Buddy Bolton, Sharon Bush, Yann Coatanlem, Timothy Corrigan, Christian Draz, Ronald Lee Fleming, Elisa Fredrickson, Susan Gutfreund, Rosann and Richard Gutman, Gurnee and Marjorie Hart, Bruce Horten, Adrianne Joseph, Fernanda Kellogg and Kirk Henckels, Helen K. King, Michael A. Kovner and Jean Doyen de Montaillou, Odile de Schiétère-Longchampt and Michel Longchampt, Judy McLaren, Kazie and John Harvey, Jay R. Paul, George and Jeri Sape, Guy N. Robinson, Cassandra Surer, Barbara and Donald Tober, Ann Van Ness, Barbara Wolf, and many more…
Said Jennifer Herlein, French Heritage Society Executive Director, “We are grateful to everyone who attended French Heritage Society’s first virtual ball! Our annual gala provides critical support for our mission, allowing us to award restoration grants and provide internship opportunities to university students in France and the United States. While the pandemic has impacted much of what we do, important restoration work continues at our grant sites and some students have elected to do their internships remotely. Our mission continues, FHS makes gifts and provides work to craftsmen, protecting the future of the French architectural and cultural legacy both in France and the United States. French Heritage Society ensures that the treasures of our shared French architectural and cultural heritage survive to inspire future generations to build, dream and create.”