WHY GIVE TO VERSAILLES ?
We are committed to optimism, to grand ideals and democratic principals that elevate every person. We are committed to charity, philanthropy and artistry. We believe that beauty creates a greater good and benefits the world.
If someone asks, “Why give to Versailles?” you need only look as far as the answers above. But beyond the obvious, beyond the majesty of the palace, beyond the grandeur of the gardens and beyond the centuries of artistic achievement that have emanated from this place, there is a story of friendship and history that binds America and France together.
Versailles more than any other secular monument outside the United States, is directly related to our nation, both politically and historically. This relationship commenced with Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin. The French extended their friendship and financial support to our American Revolution, which would never have been realized without their support; these negotiations took place at Versailles. It continued with the extraordinary Rockefeller patronage of Versailles in the 1920s, then with Gerald Van der Kemp (and his American wife, Florence), who was the chief curator from 1945 to 1980, and now with our effort through the American Friends of Versailles.
Treaties of world consequence have been signed at Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles, ending the First World War, was signed in the Hall of Mirrors on June 28, 1919. Versailles continues to be a stage where the French greet American presidents and where heads of state hold meetings.
France gave us the Statue of Liberty and the restored Trois Fontaines Bosquet, Pavillon Frais, and ceiling of the Queen's Guards Room- AFV projects, stand out in the same tradition as a lasting symbol of our friendship.
Versailles is the largest museum in the world and appx. 1 million Americans visit the Palace and its magnificent gardens each year. UNESCO has declared Versailles an international world treasure. For close to three and a half centuries, it has inspired the world on every level in the historic, political and cultural arenas.
Versailles is an opus that transcends vocabulary and perhaps even the imagination of its creators. It exists in an unparalleled final statement like no other, likely never to be repeated
Please donate to the American Friends of Versailles to help preserve the history and beauty of Versailles for future generations.