Savoir Faire and Innovation: In Conversation with Thomas Pheasant

On Monday, March 11, 2024, the French-American Cultural Foundation hosted Savoir Faire and Innovation: In Conversation with Thomas Pheasant.

In turnout, engagement and enthusiasm, the event exceeded our expectations.

We hosted Valérie Maltaverne, founder of Ymer & Malta, pioneer of Savoir Faire and Innovation in France; Olivier Gabet, General Curator and Director of the Department of Decorative Arts at the Louvre; and Thomas Pheasant, renowned DC-based interior designer, for a lively exploration of Valérie’s creations which provided insightful context for locating her work in the broader contemporary decorative arts world.

We were honored to have Deputy Chief of Mission for the French Embassy, Aurélie Bonal, open the program. To add to the stellar list of design talent, we welcomed Alexandra Deutsch, Director of Collections, Winterthur. The chemistry and mutual respect among the participants was a joy to witness. Please view the presentation of Valérie’s work.

The Alliance Francaise, Blair House, Cooper Hewitt, Dumbarton Oaks, Embassy of France, GMU, GWU Cotsen Textiles Museum, Gold Leaf Studios, National Archives, National Gallery, National Museum for Women in the Arts, NYU/DC, Parsons, Sotheby’s, US State Department Arts in Embassies, and White House were among the entities represented.

Making the festivities complete, Chef Hughes Cossard offered his personal culinary design and delivery of our authentic French luncheon.

In the spirit of connecting, the second half of the program offered design students and educators the opportunity to engage in a cross-cultural exchange by asking questions and guidance of those with extraordinary talents who these students may seek to emulate one day.

It was a happy, energetic and full ballroom at Anderson House. The recent opening of the Anderson House exhibit, Fête Lafayette – made available to our program guests – was an added and exceptional element to the day’s schedule.

The F-ACF skill set is to identify and connect talent and resources and then nurture these relationships so that programs of substance are a natural outcome.

In that spirit, we look forward to continuing the French-American relationship evocative of amitié and commerce. Ahead are D-Day commemorations and programs, the relaunch of the Lafayette-Washington Cultural Diplomacy Award dinner, unveiling of the WWI Memorial in Washington, our annual Paris and Versailles Pop-Up Trip to the Royal Opera Gala (September 28-29), and a program discussing French advances in the study and treatment of oncology.

We are so appreciative of your attention and support as we seek to share the best in the French-American relationship with you.

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