Images Photographed by Julien Hekimian/Getty Images for Ralph Lauren, Carter Berg and Chris Allerton
On Tuesday October 8th,Ralph Lauren to hosted an exclusive viewing of his fall/winter 2013 Collection show and private black-tie dinner in celebration of his patron sponsorship and commitment to a 2-year restoration program of L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts (The [French] National School of Fine Arts) in Paris at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (13 quai Malaquais – Paris 6e)
Guests included members of the Ralph Lauren Family (Mrs. Ricky Lauren in Ralph Lauren Collection black silk taffeta skirt and black jersey bodysuit, Mr. David Lauren, Mrs. Dylan Lauren in Ralph Lauren Collection silk georgette bustier evening dress, Mr. Andrew Lauren, Mrs. Lauren Bush Lauren in Ralph Lauren Collection black silk cady evening dress), H.S.H. The Princess Charlene of Monaco (in Ralph Lauren Collection custom amethyst silk taffeta evening dress with organza and organdy silk layers), Princess Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein (in Ralph Lauren black silk dress with beading), US Ambassador to France Mr. Charles H. Rivkin, Mrs. Susan Tolson in Ralph Lauren Collection fuchsia satin evening dress, Ms Catherine Deneuve in Ralph Lauren Collection beaded evening skirt and cashmere top, Mrs. Charlotte Gainsbourg in Ralph Lauren Collection black textured crepe jacket and over-the-knee black boots with Ralph Lauren Black Label leather leggings and cashmere tank top, Mr. Lambert Wilson (in Ralph Lauren Purple Label navy tuxedo), Mr. Laurent Lafitte (in Ralph Lauren Purple Label velvet tuxedo jacket, tuxedo pants), Mrs. Alice Taglioni in Ralph Lauren Blue Label velvet suit and Ralph Lauren Black Label lace shirt, Mrs. Elin Kling in Ralph Lauren Collection black silk faille embroidered jacket, Mrs. Laurence Ferrari in Ralph Lauren Collection silk evening dress, Mr. Renaud Capuçon, Mrs. Arielle Dombasle, Mr. Jean-Jacques Aillagon, Mr. Frédéric Mitterrand, Mrs. Cherie Chung (in Ralph Lauren Collection black sable evening strapless dress, Ralph Lauren Fine Jewelry Monogram choker and Ralph Lauren Fine Watchmaking Slim Classique in 18K rose gold and white diamonds), Suzy Menkes, Mrs. Eriko Nakamura Barthes (in Ralph Lauren Collection ivory tulle beaded dress, Ralph Lauren Fine Watchmaking Slim Classique in 18K white gold with diamond baguette and white satin strap) and many other distinguished guests
The École des Beaux-Arts (The School of Fine Arts) is one of a number of influential art schools in France, the most famous being the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, now located on the left bank in Paris, across the Seine from the Louvre, at 14 rue Bonaparte (in the 6th arrondissement). The school has a history spanning more than 350 years, and have trained many of the great artists in Europe.
The origins of the school go back to 1648 when the Académie des Beaux-Arts was founded by Cardinal Mazarin to educate the most talented students in drawing, painting, sculpture, engraving, architecture and other media. Louis XIV was known to select graduates from the school to decorate the royal apartments at Versailles, and in 1863 Napoleon III granted the school independence from the government, changing the name to “L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts“. Women were admitted beginning in 1897. In October 1898 after her third try, Julia Morgan of San Francisco, California, was accepted as the first woman to be enrolled in the Architecture Department.
The curriculum was divided into the “Academy of Painting and Sculpture” and the “Academy of Architecture“. Both programs focused on classical arts and architecture from Ancient Greek and Roman culture. All students were required to prove their skills with basic drawing tasks before advancing to figure drawing and painting. This culminated in a competition for the Grand Prix de Rome, awarding a full scholarship to study in Rome. The three trials to obtain the prize lasted for nearly three months. Many of the most famous artists in Europe were trained here, to name but a few, they include Géricault, Degas, Delacroix, Fragonard, Ingres, Monet, Moreau, Renoir, Seurat, Cassandre, and Sisley. Rodin however, famously applied on three occasions but was refused entry.
The buildings of the school are largely the creation of French architect Félix Duban, who was commissioned for the main building in 1830. His work realigned the campus, and continued through 1861, completing an architectural program out towards the Quai Malaquias.
The Paris school is the namesake and founding location of the Beaux Arts architectural movement in the early twentieth century. Known for demanding classwork and setting the highest standards for education, the École attracted students from around the world—including the United States, where students returned to design buildings that would influence the history of architecture in America, including the Boston Public Library, 1888–1895 (McKim, Mead & White) and the New York Public Library, 1897–1911 (Carrère and Hastings). Architectural graduates, especially in France, are granted the title élève.
The architecture department was separated from the École after the May 1968 student strikes at the Sorbonne and the name was changed to École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Now over 500 students make use of an extensive collection of classical art, with modern additions to the curriculum including photography and hypermedia.
The École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, National School of Fine Arts, forms a vast architectural complex, opposite the Louvre Museum, in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, between the dock and Malaquais rue Bonaparte. The National School of Fine Arts’s primary mission is the training of students who intend to high artistic creation level: artistic practices, theoretical and technicalities – for effective and flexible organization of work, regular consultation and implementation of projects. This training, over a course of five years, combines the founders of an artistic process elements and issues in contemporary art and offers a diverse teaching method based on studio work. Besides teachers and workshop leaders, the School uses guest artists renew and expand educational approaches. At work in the workshop, supported by the technical education and access to technical bases equipped, there are the lectures, allowing different approaches to art history. The library of the School offers students a rich documentation on art.
The school also offers throughout the year a rich and diverse cultural program, open to all artistic disciplines. A program of meetings, seminars, symposia, workshops, screenings and debates allows students to be engaged with the contemporary creation and its challenges. Finally, the school makes available to students a very active foreign policy, through exchange agreements with foreign art schools in all continents (forty students are involved each year).
The second mission of the School is to preserve and disseminate prestigious collections related to its history. This distribution is made by lending works to museums around the world, and the organization of exhibitions, within the School, in its halls and the dock Malaquais in the chapel throughout the year. Since 2005, the school has had a cabinet designs thanks to the patronage of Jean Bonna, exhibitions are held regularly.
The buildings of the National School of Fine Arts, spread over two hectares, dating from the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and even some parts of the twentieth century. The oldest building is the Chapel and its adjacent buildings, erected in the early seventeenth century to the Couvent des Petits-Augustins, in which was designed by Alexandre Lenoir (1761-1839), during the period of the Revolution and the Empire; and the Museum of French Monuments with the elements of the most remarkable French sculptures. (At the closure of the museum in 1816, places are allocated to the School of Fine Arts.)
Architect François Debret (1777-1850) was responsible for the construction of new premises. First he built the building Lodges, vital to the functioning of competition, and starts the Palace of studies. His pupil and brother Félix Duban (1797-1872) succeeded him and built the Palace of study and exhibition building (room and dining Melpomene Foch) overlooking the dock Malaquais. Finishing the course input side the rue Bonaparte, the chapel and cloister (court Mulberry) of the former convent, Duban reused architectural and decorative elements, sometimes disparate, that remained in place after the dispersal of the collections of the Museum of French Monuments, giving the whole a definite unity.
Naturally, with buildings as old and with Landmark-status such as these, they tend to need the occasional renovation, to fix the roof, to bring the electrical wiring and plumbing up to modern standards. The Restoration of the building at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts started with the facades of the dock Malaquais. The restoration of the facades of dock buildings at Malaquais was made possible by the generous private sponsorship of Philippe Journo, president of the Society of Phalsburg, personally and as his company, sponsorship completed by the Ministry of Culture and communication.
This work concerns the buildings built between the seventeenth and the nineteenth century, in a classified site in full as historical monuments since 1972. They were taken in three tranches and will be completed in 2012. The restoration of the Glass Court began in January 2007 by the consolidation of the glass followed by the restoration of stone facings and pictorial ornaments of different facades. Eleven trades have occurred under the leadership of Benjamin Mouton, chief architect of historical monuments. The Ministry of Culture and Communication, FIAC, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, Lenôtre and Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne has all contributed to the restoration of the glass court. The project was completed in March 2009. Mr. Lauren’s commitment will continue the work started by these generous men and organizations.
Remarked Mr. Lauren:”I have always believed in preserving places that inform our history and culture. When I understood the Ecole des Beaux Arts needed renovation I was moved to help the artists, students and all creative people to safeguard their environments.”