A Fête for FAPE

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) hit the big 3-0 this year, and in celebration of their milestone anniversary, the public-private partnership hosted their annual events, which was a grand celebration like no other on April 18 in Washington D.C.

The National Gallery of Art, Washington, in collaboration with FAPE, hosted a public panel discussion to open up the fascinating conversation about the life and works of accomplished architect Frank Gehry, who was a panelist along with architecture critic and author Paul Goldberger and curator Harry Cooper, who served as the moderator.

Secretary of State John Kerry hosted a reception following dinner at the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms and FAPE Chairman Jo Carole Lauder presented Gehry with the Leonore and Walter Annenberg Award for Diplomacy through the Arts. The award holds the namesake of the founder of FAPE, and her husband, paying tribute to their passion for art and exceptional philanthropic legacy.

Gehry was recognized for his unique creations and architectural philosophy. The graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture has designed some of the world’s most iconic buildings: the Eight Spruce Street Residential Tower in New York City, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California, the Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, to name a few.

“The works of art that FAPE provides to our diplomatic posts contribute immeasurably to the State Department’s fundamental mission,” said Secretary Kerry. “In dramatic ways, they help us to communicate the story of who we are and what we stand for—the universal values of liberty, civility, reason, and law.”

In addition, this year’s contributions to FAPE’s Original Print and Photography Collections by Gehry, Ellen PhelanWayne Thiebaud, and Diana Walker were unveiled in a presentation during the evening. Those in attendance of the events were FAPE Founder and President Emerita Wendy Luers, FAPE Director Jennifer Duncan, FAPE Board member and author Bob Colacello, President of Christie’s Americas Brook Hazelton, artists Jeff and Justine Koons, among many others.

Like Gehry says, “Art and architecture work in concert, and are vital to sparking creativity, enhancing understanding, and creating a dialogue.” We couldn’t agree more. Ah, the power of art.

Photos courtesy of FAPE.


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