FAPE was established in 1986 by Leonore Annenberg, Wendy W. Luers, Carol Price and Lee Kimche McGrath (pictured in order above).
FAPE held its inaugural gala in October 1986. The event had over 600 guests, including then-Secretary of State George P. Shultz, pictured above with Lee Kimche McGrath, Leonore Annenberg and Wendy W. Luers.
Thanks to FAPE’s Founder and President Emerita, Wendy W. Luers, the organization’s most important achievement during its first year was the initiation of a continuing pro bono relationship between Sotheby’s and the State Department to appraise high-value furnishings at U.S. embassies around the world.
With funding provided by FAPE, and with the help of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, an interior designer and Chinese furnishings expert, FAPE took on its first redecoration project -- transforming the diplomatic and representational rooms on the first floor of the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in Beijing, China.
Named for FAPE’s Founding Director, the Lee Kimche McGrath Original Print Collection started in 1989 when Frank Stella donated The Symphony in an edition large enough for a print to be sent to every American embassy. The Collection includes editions by 26 of America’s most influential artists. Pictured above is Frank Stella’s The Symphony.
After the successful completion of the Beijing restoration project, Ambassador Nicholas Rey requested that FAPE fund the redecoration of the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in Warsaw, Poland. The project was overseen by Board Member Harriette Levine, and FAPE donated several works of art, including pieces by John Baldessari, Donald Judd and Frank Stella, among others.
FAPE donated significant funding toward the repair of the statuary, paintings and antiquities at Palazzo Margherita, the U.S. Embassy in Rome. Statues of particular note include a 2nd century A.D. Roman marble figure of Eirene and the reclining statue of Silenus.
In honor of their 50th wedding anniversary, Nancy Lee and Perry Bass made a gift to FAPE. In 2008, their contribution was used to partially fund the installation of Ellsworth Kelly’s Berlin Totem at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany.
Ellsworth Kelly, Berlin Totem © Ellsworth Kelly/Photograph: Jack Shear
Since 1947, the official residence of the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations has been an apartment in a New York City hotel. When Madeleine Albright became Ambassador in 1993, FAPE worked with her to redecorate the space.
FAPE has partnered with Gemini G.E.L. LLC, a printmaking workshop based in California, who has generously published artists’ portfolios for FAPE’s Original Print Collection.
Elizabeth Murray, Deep Blue C
Thanks to a generous gift from General Electric, FAPE commissioned a mural by artist Karen Lukas, which was installed in the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in New Delhi, India. The work was completed in time for First Lady Hillary Clinton’s visit in April 1995.
FAPE commissioned Jim Melchert to create a permanent tile installation at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in Singapore. His design for the murals in the entry room of the residence were inspired by lively native myths and deities, as well as traditional art techniques of the region.
In honor of FAPE’s 10th Anniversary, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation awarded a grant to FAPE for several restoration projects at Petschek Palace, the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in Prague, Czech Republic. The Goldsmith Foundation also funded a commemorative book on FAPE’s first ten years.
FAPE funded the restoration of the wood paneling in the Ballroom, the Music Room, and the State Dining Room at Bosch Palace, the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In May 1998, FAPE announced its GIFT TO THE NATION project at a dinner at the White House hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton. The first gift was unveiled at the dinner - Roy Lichtenstein’s Reflections on Senorita, donated by his widow and FAPE Board Member, Dorothy.
Preservation of the Hôtel de Talleyrand, an American Embassy Annex building, began in 1998 when Mrs. Betty Knight Scripps, through FAPE, provided the funding for the initial stage of the project. The World Monuments Fund, the Getty Foundation, and many other private and corporate entities provided the remaining funds to restore the ten rooms at the Marshall Center. The building was formally dedicated in 2010.
In 1998, FAPE commissioned Joel Shapiro to contribute a sculpture for the lawn at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, which was installed the following year. After the successful completion of this project, FAPE shifted its focus to commissioning site-specific works at the new U.S. embassies being constructed by the State Department.
Joel Shapiro, Conjunction © Joel Shapiro/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Photograph: Raul Alferez
As part of the GIFT TO THE NATION, funds were raised through the generosity of Janice H. Levin to create the Janice H. Levin Sculpture Garden at Winfield House, the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in London, United Kingdom. The focal point of the garden is an Elie Nadelman sculpture, Seated Woman with Raised Arm.
To accompany FAPE’s site-specific projects, FAPE has partnered with the Checkerboard Film Foundation to produce a series of films documenting the fabrication and installation of the artists’ work. Above, artist Ellsworth Kelly (far left) prepares for filming.
FAPE added prints by four Gee’s Bend, Alabama, quilters to the Original Print Collection - Louisiana Bendolph, Loretta Bennett, Loretta Pettway, and Mary Lee Bendolph (pictured above). Paulson Press provided the plate-making and proofing of the works.
In February 2008, a team from Sol LeWitt’s studio installed Wall Drawing #1256: Five Pointed Stars. Located in the glass-enclosed Behrenstraße entrance, the wall drawing is visible to the public. The work was a gift of the artist and The Honorable Ronald S. Lauder and Mrs. Jo Carole Lauder.
Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #1256: Five Pointed Stars Photography: Werner Huthmacher, Berlin
FAPE established the Leonore and Walter Annenberg Award for Diplomacy through the Arts in 2009 to honor distinguished American individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in furthering global understanding of the United States. Justice Stephen G. Breyer (2009), pictured above with Ellsworth Kelly who designed the award, was the first recipient.
FAPE’s project at the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica, is a large-scale mural by Dorothea Rockburne in honor of Colin Powell and his family who come from Jamaica. Motivated by the project, FAPE, the Queens Museum of Art, and STUDIO IN A SCHOOL, worked with a group of New York high school students in a summer program entitled, "Artist as Ambassador." Students learned about the role artists can play in advancing international relations.
The State Department approached FAPE in 2007 to provide the art collection for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations (USUN) in New York. In 2010, FAPE contributed three site-specific installations, and placed works by 65 artists in more than 180 spaces throughout 19 floors of the building.
Odili Donald Odita, Light and Vision Photograph © Paul Warchol
FAPE celebrated its 25th Anniversary during its Annual Events in Washington, DC, on May 19 and 20 at Blair House and the National Gallery of Art. Brice Marden (far right) presented his print for the Original Print Collection, and Martin Puryear (center) unveiled his design for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. The artists are pictured above with Earl A. Powell III, Director of the National Gallery of Art, FAPE Chairman, Jo Carole Lauder, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Photo by Mary Hilliard, Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art
FAPE commissioned artist Ellsworth Kelly to create two wall sculptures for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, which opened in 2008. The two wall reliefs were installed on the exterior of the Embassy on July 4, 2011.
In 2012, FAPE held the first public exhibition of its Original Print Collection at the Matthew Marks Gallery in Los Angeles. Subsequent venues include Sperone Westwater in New York (2013) and the Museum at Guild Hall (2014).
In 2013, FAPE established a collection of American photography. The Photography Collection was inaugurated with editions by artists Tina Barney and William Wegman, followed by works from artists Richard Benson, Sidney Felsen, Cindy Sherman, Carrie Mae Weems, Diana Walker and Brett Weston.
In 2014, FAPE and artist Joel Shapiro traveled to Guangzhou, China, to visit fifth grade students at the American International School. The students created their own personal maquettes that were inspired by Now, the site-specific sculpture created by the artist for the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou.
FAPE honored Bank of America with its inaugural Partner in the Arts Award in recognition of the bank’s deep dedication to FAPE and to the arts globally. Darren Walker, FAPE Vice President and President of the Ford Foundation, made the official presentation to Anne Finucane, Global Chief Strategy and Marketing Office.