The Ambassador of France to the United States His Excellency Mr. François Delattre will travel to Memphis for the first time October 6 7, 2011, with a scheduled visit at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens
. The visit of the Ambassador reflects the importance that France attaches to developing its relations with the American Southeast. In addition to meetings with Mayor AC Wharton and CEO of FedEx, Frederick W. Smith, Ambassador Delattre will visit the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, currently hosting the retrospective of French artist Jean-Louis Forain. On this occasion, he will view the exhibition and meet with some of the artists family members - Florence and Antoine Valdès-Forain, as well as the museums board members, supporters and Director Kevin Sharp: "We are honored to have Ambassador Delattre at the Dixon and delighted that the Forain family will see this marvelous exhibition one more time before it closes on October 9."
The Honorable Pascal Le Deunff, Consulate General to France, will return to Memphis for a second time to visit the Dixon with the Ambassador Delattre: "It was a real treat to visit the opening weekend of the Forain exhibition at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in the presence of Florence and Antoine Valdès-Forain. His work is impressive and I am glad our Ambassador will have the opportunity to visit it during his first visit to Memphis since taking his post last February."
The closing date of Sunday, October 9, will also be the last opportunity for visitors to take advantage of the A Very Impressionistic Summer dual ticketing offer to see both the Brooks Museums Impressionist Revolution and Jean-Louis Forain: La Comédie parisienne for the price of one.
Hailed by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton as
a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the people of Memphis, Jean-Louis Forain: La Comédie parisienne is the most ambitiousand successfulexhibition in the Dixons 35-year history and the first major international loan show. The Dixon has welcomed twice the average amount of visitors and has received a host of local, regional, and national attention through its display. The Dixon planned an extensive schedule of unique programs to complement and celebrate the showincluding the debut of Memphis-based opera singer and Parisian native Marie-Stephane Bernardalmost tripling the contents of the Dixons typical programming calendar.
Jean-Louis Forains illustrations and social and political commentary appeared weekly in Paris newspapers throughout the 1890s, bringing him fame throughout France. A protégé of Edgar Degas, and mentor to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, his paintings and pastels captured popular events of Parisian society and were featured in four of the Impressionist exhibitions between 1879 and 1886.