Almost every American who visits France
will visit Versailles. More than any other secular monument
outside the United States, Versailles has direct historical,
political and artistic links to our country. The magic continues
to captivate our imaginations. Versailles inspires the soul
in all facets of the arts, architecture, gardens, fountains,
paintings, sculpture, boiseries, furniture, tapestries,
carpets, porcelain, fabrics, and object d’art.
My personal love affair with Versailles
began when I was seventeen years old, upon my first visit.
I was delighted when asked if I would become a member of
the board of Les Amis de Versailles in the early 1990’s
by our good friend Olivier de Rohan. In 1997 Olivier, my
husband David and I were walking through the gardens when
we came upon the Trois Fontaines Bosquet. It had lain in
ruin since 1830 and was sad and longing to be restored.
We hoped that there was perhaps some way we could help.
After meeting with Hubert Astier, a seed was planted and
the American Friends of Versailles was born.
I have been inspired, humbled, honored and
I consider it a great privilege to be part of this extraordinary
international endeavor. My sincere gratitude to all of the
chairmen, co-chairmen, friends, hosts, supporters, contributors
and to my family. Hand in hand we unite across the Atlantic
in support of our allies and this great museum in true friendship.
My enduring and heartfelt appreciation to you all,
Sincerely, Catharine Hamilton