The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) is the public-private partnership dedicated to providing permanent works of American art for U.S. embassies worldwide. It contributes to the U.S. Department of State’s mission of cultural diplomacy and cross-cultural understanding within the diplomatic community and the international public. All artworks commissioned or placed by FAPE are gifts, representing generosity of some of the United States’ greatest artists and donors. As of 2016, FAPE’s donations include permanent works by more than 200 preeminent American artists placed in more than 140 countries.

Click here to view a short film about FAPE by Robert Storr, Chairman of FAPE’s Professional Fine Arts Committee and Dean of the Yale School of Art.

History of FAPE

FAPE was founded by Leonore Annenberg, Wendy W. Luers, Lee Kimche McGrath and Carol Price. As spouses of former U.S. ambassadors, and with Mrs. McGrath as the Director of Art in Embassies at the State Department, FAPE’s founders recognized a need to build upon the Department’s efforts by providing permanent works of American art that would endure the tests of time in embassies across the world.

Among FAPE’s early accomplishments are the formalization of a partnership with Sotheby’s to provide pro bono services to the State Department to inventory and evaluate historic furnishings; the millennium GIFT TO THE NATION – a collection of American art for permanent display in U.S. embassies; restoration projects at U.S. diplomatic facilities in Brussels, Budapest, Buenos Aires, London, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Rome and Vienna; and the complete refurbishment of the public rooms at the U.S. Embassy Residences in Beijing and Warsaw.

Since our founding, each President’s administration has supported FAPE’s activities. FAPE would like to recognize and thank the late President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan; President George H.W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush; President William Jefferson Clinton and The Honorable Hillary Clinton; President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush; and President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama. Also, FAPE would not succeed without the support of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and our Honorary Patrons — former Secretaries of State Madeleine K. Albright, James A. Baker III, John F. Kerry, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Henry A. Kissinger, Colin L. Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and George P. Shultz.

How does FAPE fulfill its mission?

FAPE fulfills its mission through Site-Specific commissions, Original Print and Photography Collections, preservation projects, and other arts and education initiatives.

Who founded FAPE, and who are its current leaders?

FAPE was founded in 1986 by Leonore Annenberg, Wendy W. Luers, Lee Kimche McGrath and Carol Price. FAPE’s current leadership includes Chairman Jo Carole Lauder; President Eden Rafshoon; Vice President Darren Walker; and Director Jennifer A. Duncan.

What is the Leonore and Walter Annenberg Award for Diplomacy through the Arts?

The Leonore and Walter Annenberg Award for Diplomacy through the Arts was established in 2008 to honor FAPE’s founder, Leonore Annenberg and her husband, Walter. It recognizes Americans who have demonstrated a commitment to the arts and who exhibit long-term excellence and innovation in the exchange of creativity and ideas that represent the rich and diverse culture of the United States. The Annenberg Award is presented each year during FAPE’s Annual Events in Washington, DC.

How are FAPE's artists selected?

A volunteer advisory committee chaired by Robert Storr, Dean of the Yale School of Art, selects and commissions all FAPE artists. Once commissioned, the artist works with the embassy architect, the State Department and FAPE to ensure that the art is sensitively integrated within the building and its grounds. The works are all donated by the artists, and FAPE provides the funds to pay for their fabrication and installation.

What are FAPE’s Annual Events?

Each year, FAPE hosts its members in Washington, DC, to update them on projects and to announce new initiatives. The Annual Events include a dinner at the State Department’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms hosted by the Secretary of State and a program/luncheon at the National Gallery of Art. Since its founding, FAPE has been received at the White House by each President and First Lady.

How can you support FAPE?

FAPE is a 501(c)(3) organization and receives no government funding; it has raised more than $90 million in art and monetary contributions to date. FAPE is the only privately funded, public-private non-partisan partnership to work with the State Department in the sphere of American embassy art programs. All charitable contributions to FAPE are deductible to the maximum extent permitted for federal income, estate, and gift tax purposes.

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