Awards & Events


The Legion of Honor 

The Legion of Honor  (Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur),  France’s premier award, was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte to recognize eminent accomplishments of service to France.   The Order is made up of three ranks -- chevalier, officier, commandeur -- and two high offices (“dignités”) -- grand officier and grand croix. A Presidential award, the Legion of Honor may be give to foreign (non-French) citizens in recognition of actions benefitting the country of France or, more broadly, achievements which upold its ideals. American honorees include John Ashbery, Renée Fleming, Wynton Marsalis, Barbra Streisand, and Elie Wiesel, as well as hundreds of World War II veterans. 

The Order of Merit 

The Order of Merit (Ordre national du Mérite) was created in 1963 by President Charles de Gaulle.  This Presidential award recognizes distinguished service to France, in the military as well as in the public and private sectors.  It has three ranks --Chevalier, Officier, and Commandeur-- and two high offices (“dignités”) -- grand officier and grand croix.

The Order of Academic Palms

The Order of Academic Palms (Ordre des Palmes Académiques) was founded in 1808 by Napoleon Bonaparte who established the honorary titles of Titulaire, Officier de l'Université, and Officier d'Académie as awards for devotion and accomplishment in the areas of teaching, scholarship and research.  Since being raised to the status of the Order under the Minister of Education in 1955, this award has three ranks Chevalier, Officier, and Commandeur.  French citizens living abroad and foreign (non-French) nationals may receive this award for contributing significantly to furthering French intellectual, scientific, and artistic achievements in the world. 

The Order of Arts and Letters

The Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) was established in 1957 to recognize eminent artists and writers, as well as  people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. The Order of Arts and Letters is given out three times annually under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Culture and Communication.  American recipients of the award include Paul Auster, Ornette Coleman, Agnes Gund, Marilyn Horne, Jim Jarmusch, Richard Meier, Robert Paxton, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, and Uma Thurman.  


Image: Jim Jarmusch and Antonin Baudry, June 23, 2011 © Clarisse Rebotier.
JUNE 16, 2015

France Honors William Castro

By French Culture

On Monday, June 15, 2015, Cultural Counselor Bénédicte de Montlaur honored Manhattan Borough Parks Commissioner William Castro with the insignia of Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in a ceremony at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, in New York.

JUNE 10, 2015

France Honors Wes Anderson

By French Culture

On Tuesday, June 9th, 2015, Cultural Counselor Bénédicte de Montlaur honored Wes Anderson, the accomplished film director, with the insignia of Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. The award was presented in an intimate ceremony at Albertine Books, part of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York City.

JUNE 2, 2015

France Honors Richard Serra

By French Culture

On Monday, June 1, 2015, Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the United States, honored artist Richard Serra with the insignia of Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur in a ceremony at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York City.

MAY 12, 2015

France Honors Meredith Monk and Aimée Brown Price

By French Culture

On Monday, May 11, 2015, Meredith Monk, composer, choreographer, singer and performer, and Aimée Brown Price, art historian and specialist on the French painter Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, were awarded the Order of Arts and Letters by the Deputy Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy, Thomas Michelon, in a double decoration ceremony which took place at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York.

APRIL 17, 2015

France Honors Catherine Malandrino

By French Culture

On Wednesday, April 15, 2015, Ambassador François Delattre honored Catherine Malandrino with the insignia of Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in ceremony at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York City.

MARCH 16, 2015

France Honors Charles S. Cohen

By French Culture

On Thursday, March 12, 2015, Thomas Michelon, Deputy Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy, honored Charles S. Cohen with the insignia of Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in ceremony at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York City.

FEBRUARY 27, 2015

France Honors Virgil de Voldère

By French Culture

On Thursday, February 26th, Ambassador François Delattre honored Virgil de Voldère, a proponent of French bilingual education, with the Order of Academic Palms.

JANUARY 16, 2015

France Honors Lydia Davis and Kent Jones

By French Culture

On Thursday, January 15th, translator Lydia Davis and film critic Kent Jones were respectively awarded Officier and Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by Cultural Counselor Antonin Baudry.

DECEMBER 16, 2014

France Honors Richard Brody

By French Culture

On Monday, December 15, 2014, Antonin Baudry, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy, conferred upon film critic Richard Brody the insignia chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters with the following speech.

JUNE 18, 2014

France Honors Florence Almozini with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

By French Culture

On June 4th, Cultural Counselor Antonin Baudry honored Florence Almozini with a vibrant speech before conferring on her the insignia of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.

MAY 19, 2014

France Honors Judy Hussie-Taylor with the Order of Arts and Letters

By French Culture

On Saturday, May 17, Judy Hussie-Taylor, Executive Director of Danspace Project, was honored with the insignia of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by Antonin Baudry, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy.

APRIL 8, 2014

France Honors H. George Fletcher with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

By French Culture

On March 6, 2014, H. George Fletcher, a bibliophile who began collecting books at 15, was conferred the medal of chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by Cultural Counselor Antonin Baudry. The convivial occasion was held among family, friends, and colleagues in the Grolier Club’s Rare Book Room which features a permanent display of historic book bindings, including a work by Jean Grolier.

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For more information contact

paula.cianci
@diplomatie.gouv.fr

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