Since 1982, the French Heritage Society has supported French heritage in both France and the United States. A look back at his exemplary actions and his patronage policy for French heritage and culture.

What is the French Heritage Society?

The French Heritage Society (FHS) is a American non-profit organization (organization 501c3) created in 1982. It is composed of twelve chapters, eleven of which are in the United States and one in France.

His goal:  perpetuate the French architectural and cultural heritage present in France and the United States.

Its means of action: for this, she fundraising for preservation, restoration and education to preserve this heritage and inspire future generations.

Its missions:

  • Preserving French heritage in France and the United States by attributing catering prices.
  • Perpetuating know-how, knowledge and love of heritage through exchanges of students and heritage architects between the two countries.
  • Bring a better knowledge of French and American cultures, and foster a Franco-American friendship.
The French Heritage Society, 40 years in numbers:
  • More than €13.4 million raised for historical preservation (including €2.5 million for the restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris) for 601 restoration projects.
  • More than 530 American and French fellows beneficiaries of their ' Education program »
  • More than 650 restaurant prices granted in France and the United States. In 2022, 15 restoration prizes were awarded for a total of €465,000 and €20,150 to the French-inspired American heritage.
  • More than 80 cultural trips organized for patrons and members of the French Heritage Society

The French Heritage Society: a patronage policy for French heritage

To States-United :

The French Heritage Society 12 representative delegations including 11 in the United States.

It organises events to raising funds for important restoration projects that promote French-style culture and lifestyle in American states. Thus, La Fayette’s room in Virginia or Edgar Degas' house in New Orleans have been supported by the French Heritage Society for example.

In France :

The French Heritage Society was awarded the great patron of culture, in 2010. The action of the FHS is complete: if it supports heritage projects of national dimension, it is also sensitive to territorial projects. Some examples.

National Library of France (Bnf):

Founding member of the Richelieu Circle of the National Library of France (BnF), it is committed with the support of the Florence Gould Foundation for the restoration of the mazarin gallery and with the support ofIron Mountain, Inc for the restoration of the Salon Louis XV. This sponsorship funding was represented to the extent of 416,000 euros.


Cercle Richelieu de la Bibliothèque national de France (BnF), grand mécène de la Culture en 2022.

The National Archives:

The restoration project of the Cabinet des Singes de Huet in the Hotel de Rohan at the National Archives, was funded by the French Heritage Society with the support of the Florence Gould Foundation for an amount of 292 600 euros. Currently closed to the public and being restored, this 18th century mansion has recently hosted on the ground floor the exceptional lounges of the Grand Chancellery of Orléans.


Hôtel de Rohan - Cabinet des singes 1

Notre-Dame de Paris:

In 2019, when the terrible fire set fire to Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, the French Heritage Society responded by creating a dedicated emergency fund:  Notre-Dame Fire Restoration Fund. This fund was able to raise EUR 2.5 million thanks to the generosity of 3,400 donors from 40 different countries, but also thanks to the significant support of Estée Lauder and the Lauder family.


Vue de Notre Dame

Support for regional heritage projects:

In addition to major heritage causes such as Notre-Dame de Paris, the French Heritage Society mainly contributes to heritage restoration in all regions. For example, it has awarded restoration prizes to the Château de la Rongère in Mayenne, the Domaine de Chéronne in Sarthe and the Clos de Vougeot in Côte d'Or, to name a few.  

The French Heritage Society: educational support for friendship enanco-american.

The French Heritage Society is also developing a educational program whose aim is to enrich the training of future curators, restaurateurs, and architects through enriching experiences both on a human and professional level.  

In practice, this educational program includes:

Summer Student Exchange Program Summer internships of 4 to 8 weeks for young students in horticulture and art history in major cultural sites on both sides of the Atlantic. (scholarships between 960 euros and 1921 euros).   

International Professional Internship Program Offer of professional internships for advanced students (master’s, PhD) in their field of study. These offers allow Master and PhD students to complete internships of 6 months to one year, so that they can gain significant professional experience in internationally renowned cultural institutions (scholarships of 4800 euros).

A beautiful way to promote Franco-American friendship through the transmission of know-how and skills.

Soirée de Gala au Petit Palais le 15 octobre :

La soirée de gala pour clôturer les célébrations a été organisée le 15 octobre dernier au Petit Palais au cœur de Paris. Le dîner signé Eric Frechon et un intermède d’un pas de deux des danseurs étoiles Dorothée Gilbert et Hugo Marchand de l’Opéra National de Paris ont permis de célébrer en présence de nombreux mécènes américains et français, l’œuvre en faveur du patrimoine historique français issu des deux côtés de l’Atlantique.
La French Heritage Society (FHS) a également attribué un prix de restauration au Petit Palais pour les fresques du plafond du péristyle du jardin. Ceci fait partie des 660 prix attribués depuis 40 ans, principalement en France, mais également aux États-Unis.


Les mots de Karen Archer,
Deputy director de FHS

Karen Archer.jpg

You only celebrate your 40th birthday once in your life. The French Heritage Society (FHS), which was founded in 1982 by Michèle le Menestrel-Ullrich, is now reaching the stage of maturity and balance sheets, following the road travelled: nearly 660 restoration prizes awarded for a total of $14 million in direct aid, twice that amount, taking into account mandatory associated funding; transatlantic internships benefiting 530 students, all the players of tomorrow in the fields of heritage. And, of course, on the French side, strong links with significant stakeholders who defend heritage : our historical partner of the Old French Houses, but also the Historic House and its Fondation Mérimée, the Comité des Parcs et Jardins de France as well as the Heritage Foundation.