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.
MAY 11, 2016

Gloria Groom, Senior Curator at the Art Institute of Chicago, receives French Legion of Honor

By Laurence Geannopulos

Gerard Araud, Ambassador of France to the United States awarded in a ceremony the distinction of Knight of the Legion of Honor to Gloria Groom, chair of the Art Institute of Chicago’s European Painting and Sculpture Department on April 29, 2016.

MARCH 29, 2016

France Honors Cecile Acakpo-Satchivi, Edith Boncompain, Marie Bouteillon and Régine Latortue

By French Culture

On Wednesday, March 23, 2016, Deputy Cultural Counselor Thomas Michelon conferred the medal of the Chevaliers dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques on Cecile Acakpo-Satchivi, Edith Boncompain, Marie Bouteillon and Régine Latortue. The award was presented during a ceremony held at Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York.

FEBRUARY 29, 2016

France Honors Five Educators with Academic Palm Award

By French Culture

On Friday, February 26, 2016, Deputy Cultural Counselor Thomas Michelon named Patricia Mainardi, Patricia Conlon Moran, Françoise Noble, Sandra VanAusdal and Andrew Curran, Chevaliers dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques. The award was presented during a ceremony held at Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York.

JUNE 27, 2016

France Honors Steven Guttman

By French Culture

On Monday, June 27, 2016, Ambassador of France in the United States Gérard Araud awarded Steven Guttman the distinction of Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur. He honored him with the following speech, during a ceremony held at Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York.

JUNE 23, 2016

France Honors Laurent Dubreuil and Laurent Ferri

By French Culture

On June 21, 2016, Cultural Counselor Bénédicte de Montlaur honored Laurent Dubreuil and Laurent Ferri with French ministerial distinctions which were presented during a ceremony held at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York.

MAY 11, 2016

France Honors Three Outstanding School Principals

By French Culture

On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Cultural Counselor Bénédicte de Montlaur awarded three school principals the distinction of Chevalier in the French Order of Palmes Académiques: Anna Cano Amato, Principal of PS 110 The Monitor school; Heather Foster-Mann, Principal of PS 133 William A. Butler School; and Lena Johnson-Barbera, Principal of P.S. 20, The Clinton Hill School.

APRIL 21, 2016

France Honors Deborah Hay, Lewis Lapham & Theodore Feder

By French Culture

On April 19, 2016, André Vallini, Secrétaire d'Etat auprès du ministre des Affaires étrangères et du Développement international, chargé du Développement et de la Francophonie, presided over a ceremony in which Deborah Hay, Lewis Lapham, and Theodore Feder were each honored with an award for their contributions to French culture.

FEBRUARY 5, 2016

France Honors Anne Berthelot

By French Culture

On Thursday, February 4, 2016, Deputy Cultural Counselor Thomas Michelon named French professor, writer, and President of the Société des Professeurs Français et Francophones d’Amérique, Dr. Anne Berthelot, Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académique. The award was presented during a ceremony held at Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York, during which eight awards were also presented to support dual language student teachers in obtaining Masters degrees in Bilingual Education.

DECEMBER 1, 2015

France Honors Carl Andre and Paula Cooper

By French Culture

On Monday, November 30, 2015, Cultural Counselor Bénédicte de Montlaur awarded renowned sculptor Carl Andre and esteemed gallerist Paula Cooper with the Order of Arts and Letters. The awards were presented during a ceremony held at Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York.

NOVEMBER 30, 2015

France Honors Carla Peterson and Charles Ruas

By French Culture

On Monday, November 23, 2015, Cultural Counselor Bénédicte de Montlaur honored dance and choreography authority Carla Peterson and writer/translator Charles Ruas with the insignia of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters. The awards were presented during an intimate ceremony held at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York.

NOVEMBER 18, 2015

France Honors Adam D. Weinberg

By French Culture

On Tuesday, November 17, 2015, Whitney Museum of American Art Director Adam D. Weinberg was presented with the Insignia of the Order of Chevalier of Arts and Letters. The award was presented during an intimate ceremony held at Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York.

NOVEMBER 13, 2015

France Honors June Hargrove, Jill Schoolman and Alison Stones

By French Culture

On Tuesday, November 10, 2015, Deputy Cultural Counselor Thomas Michelon presented the Insignia of the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters to June Hargrove and Alison Stones, historians of French art, and Jill Schoolman, founder of Archipelago Books publishing house. The honorees were awarded in an intimate ceremony at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York.

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For more information contact

paula.cianci
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