The Independent Traveler's Newsletter                                          PAGE TWO
This column is intended to advise you about cultural events, news and happenings
in France or France-related events taking place in the United States
 between now and the publication of our next issue.

In France. . .

o  The 68th Cannes Film Festival will be held the 13th to 24th of May this year.  Americans Joel and Ethan Coen will be co-presidents of the Cannes Film Festival Jury. 

French Actor Louis Jourdan, the suave and debonair leading man who first became famous as Leslie Caron's co-star in 'Gigi', died at his home in Beverly Hills, California, on February 14th at the age of 93. 

o   The largest castle in Europe, Château Fort de Sedan, is the setting on May 16 and 17 for the 20th annual Medieval Fest.  Tens of thousands of visitors will come to enjoy craftsmen, animations for children, musicians, and hundreds of exhibitors at the market. Sedan is located in the Ardennes département of northeastern France only about 13 kilometers from the Belgian border. 

o   France is home to the largest linked ski area in the world, Les Trois Vallées, which is actually four valleys climbing to a height of almost 11,200 feet.  There are eight different resorts served by 169 lifts, and, because of the altitude, there is more certainty that there will be snow.  The area's most inviting place to stay is Courchevel 1850, a village with 19 4-star hotels, the most of any one location in France.

o   Look for Peanuts in France:  a new television series debuted in November, en français, of course.  Charles Schulz, the late creator of Peanuts was an avid Francophile, so now French children can enjoy the Peanuts characters as American children have for decades.  The stories will be taken from Schulz's original comic strips, and the animations will look like watercolors on textured paper.  The frames will move across the television screen as though you are reading a comic strip.  The short strips (one to two minutes in length) are shown in groups of five or six and are on France 3, a French public broadcasting station.  Schulz's widow, Jean, was approached about the project when she was visiting an annual comics convention in Angoulême, and she was happy to give it her blessing when she learned that the original comic strips would be the foundation for the work - something that had never been done in animation. She said that her husband visited France often and had a real connection with the country, adding, "He loved the people, and he appreciated the way they enjoyed life." 

o   Hire your own chauffeur for vineyard visits in France.  Pierre-Raymond GALMES is a registered and insured chauffeur with wine country experience, and Burgundy is his specialty.  However, he is available to drive your rental or his private car in any of France's wonderful wine regions.  Visit his web site at or contact him by email at

o   Château de Détilly in the Loire Valley has a few available Spring weeks for rent at a 33% discount of their regular rates.  You can still book April 26 - May 2, May 2 - May 8 and June 7 - June 13.  Contact au Château for prices and to answer any questions you may have. 

o   The new Michelin Guide was released on February 2nd with the usual surprises. In New York, Daniel Boulud's flagship French restaurant, Daniel, lost one of its stars, so it now has two - down from three it held since 2010.  In Paris on the Champs-Elysées, Yannick Alléno, who took over Le Pavillon Ledoyen last year, maintains the 3 stars of Ledoyen under the previous owner; in eastern France, there is a new 3-star restaurant this year: La Bouitte in St Martin de Belleville, upgraded from 2 stars.  You can get a copy of the red guide for Paris or one for all of France from  See the easy link below to order your copy.
La Philharmonie de Paris, courtesy web siteo  La Philharmonie de Paris, the magnificent facility designed by award-winning architect, Jean Nouvel, was inaugurated on January 14 with many notables in attendance including President François Hollande.  This 2400-seat auditorium sits on hill in Parc de la Villette alongside the Cité de Musique and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique.  It is 65,000 square feet of space devoted exclusively to the study, practice and performance of music.  Dramatic curved balconies make it unique and graceful. The architecture is spectacular with sweeping steel forms and a wall (seen in the photo below) with the concert program for everyone to see, whether standing outside or driving by in a car on the Boulevard Périphérique. Located on the northeastern edge of the 19th arrondissement, it is accessible by the Métro, RER and the tramway stop at La Villette.  It will be open to the public all day to see performances, attend exhibits, tour the Museum's collection of historic instruments, hear recordings, eat a meal or just enjoy the building.  No visitor to Paris should miss seeing this grand concert venue.

La Philharmonie de Paris exterior, courtesy web site

La Philharmonie de Paris at night

o  The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hildago, wants to begin banning polluting trucks and buses from Paris beginning in July.  By July, 2016, she wants this ban to extend to all of the most polluting vehicles.  She has already announced a ban by 2020 on all diesel vehicles, as well as limiting cars in the center of the city and extending 30 kph speed limit zones.  Adding to the number of cycle lanes is another of Hildago's goals, part of the €110-million bicycle development plan.  A plan is also underway to incentivize businesses in the city to buy cleaner vehicles through financial aid and prime-rate loans.

Château de Courtomer.  Photo courtesy of E. Bonner.  All rights reserved.Château de Courtomer in the Orne département not far from Paris is inviting guests to accept a 10% discount on weekly rental rates with bookings for 2015 and 2016.    A special code is needed to obtain the discount, so contact au Château and mention this special offer. 

Château de Challain in the Loire Valley is offering B&B accommodations until May 1st at a greatly reduced rate:  all rooms are €200 each per night with breakfast included.  Or rent the château for 30 guests at 1950 per night (2 night minimum).  Contact au Château and mention this special offer.

Une Histoire:  Art, Architecture, Design des Années 1980 à Nos Jours will showcase 400 works and objects by nearly 200 international artists, architects and designers including paintings, installations, videos, films, sculptures, drawings and photos at the Centre Pompidou through December 31.  More information at

                    Château de Courtomer

  The French government announced that the Musée du Louvre, the Château de Versailles and the Musée d'Orsay will soon be open to visitors 7 days a week.  This change will come about between 2015 and 2017, so be sure to check their web sites before your visits.  They are, and

o   Pierre Cardin opened Passé-Présent-Futur - a 20,000 square foot museum in the Marais in November.  It showcases the 92-year old designer's most representative creations including haute-couture, accessories, furnishings and jewelry symbolic of his love of the avant-garde.  For information visit

In the US . . .

  The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University presents Daumier on Art and the Theatre, on view until March 16th.  After 1840, Honoré Daumier (1808-1879) made numerous prints for the popular press that dealt with art theory, the public reception of painting, and the performing arts.  with sharp wit and a keen understanding for the complexities of modern life, Daumier turned his critical eye on the artists, musicians, dancers and singers in the spotlight as well as their audiences in these insightful and charming images.  This installation contains 13 prints, all by Daumier.  The Center is open free to the public Wednesday through Monday, 11 AM to 5 PM, with extended hours on Thursdays until 8 PM.  Visit their web site at

Marie-Antoinette's boudoir chair.  Photo courtesy Getty Museum.  The Getty Museum, located at 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California, is the permanent home to an armchair owned by Marie-Antoinette.  She was a generous patron of the decorative arts and commissioned the chair for Versailles, and it is currently featured in a gallery reinstallation at the Getty.  It was acquired by J. Paul Getty from a Newport, Rhode Island estate in 1972, and its illustrious history was reveled after careful research by Museum curators.  It was part of a suite commissioned for Marie-Antoinette's bedchamber at the Petit Trianon just prior to the French Revolution.  It was constructed in about 1787 with a frame by Georges Jacob, carved by Jean-Baptiste Simon Rode - it is beechwood and cane with modern upholstery - and it swivels!

o   The Getty Museum  also presents Picasso's Femme (1907)  - a glimpse of his evolution toward Cubism.  The depiction of fractured space and African-Mask forms reappeared in his groundbreaking Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, completed the same year.  Femme traveled to the Getty from the Beyeler Foundation in Switzerland for consultation on its conservation treatment.  On view through March 15 in the Getty Center's West Pavillon.

o    At the Getty Villa (17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, California) be sure to see Ancient Luxury and the Roman Silver Treasure from Berthouville, through August 17th.  Accidentally discovered by a French farmer in 1830, the spectacular hoard of gilt-silver statuettes and vessels known as the Berthouville Treasure was originally dedicated to the Gallo-Roman god Mercury.  Following four years of meticulous conservation and research at the Getty Villa, this exhibition allows visitors to appreciate the full splendor of the collection.  This is the first time it has been presented in its entirety outside of Paris along with other Roman luxury items from the royal collections of the Cabinet des Médailles and in collaboration with the Bibliothéque Nationales de France.  More information at

Roman Silver from Berthouville.  Photo courtesy of Bibliothèque Nationales de France.

Roman Silver Treasure from Berthouville
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Wednesday–Monday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed Tuesdays
- See more at:
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Wednesday–Monday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed Tuesdays
- See more at:
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Wednesday–Monday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed Tuesdays
- See more at:
o    19th Century French Drawings from the Morgan Library & Museum can be viewed in Houston at the Menil Collection until June 14.  Works on paper by Delacroix, Van Gogh, Seurat, Cézanne and Redon showing a wide range of techniques, styles and materials.  Details at

o   Houdon and Clodion, two leading French sculptors of the late 18th century, won the Prix de Rome and shared a studio in Italy.  Their artistic styles differ greatly, and the exhibit Enlightenment and Beauty:  Sculptures by Houdon and Clodion offers visitors the opportunity to compare the two.  Until April 5 at The Frick Collection in New York City.  Information at

o    World War I Lecture Series:  Bombing the Cathedral of Reims, Thursday, March 19th at 7 PM at the Getty Centre.  In the last lecture of this series exploring the art and culture of World War I, Thomas W. Gaehtgens, direction of the Getty Research Institute, examines the bombardment of Reims Cathedral by German troops on September 19, 1914.  The French decried this attack as an act of barbarism, after which all cultural relations between the two nations were cut and not reestablished until long after the war.

A shell bursting on Reims Cathedral, 1914.
From Francis J. Reynolds and C. W. Taylor,
Collier's New Photographic History
 of the World's War
(New York, 1918)

In Canada . . .

o   Cézanne and the Modern:  Masterpieces of European Art from the Pearlman Collection is the current exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery and will continued until May 18th.  Fifty Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works, accumulated by an American businessman who loved them and wanted to share them with the public, include works by Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Pissarro and Modigliani.  But the heart of the collection is a treasure trove of Cézannes including 16 of the artist's finest existing watercolors.  For details visit


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