All is not heated and hostile politics in our lovely capital of Washington, D.C. Believe it or not, culture and the arts are alive and kicking, as witnessed last week by the artistic events in the wake of the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, know as FAPE, whose purpose is just what the name heralds, keeping our embassies all over the world beautiful with the help of famous Americans, who donate their works to the project.
The evening began with a reception given at the residence of the German Ambassador and Mrs. Jutta Falke-Ischinger, followed by a dinner that evening at the State Department hosted by Secretary of State and Mrs. Colin Powell where all hands dined deliciously on ceviche, rack of lamb and a dessert called Jamaican Snowball. (Don’t ask).
The evening ended with a perfectly lovely serenade played by all 20 members of the U.S. Air Force Strolling Strings. But not before Jo Carole Lauder, the guiding spirit of FAPE, unveiled Alex Katz’s “Marigold,” a screen print of yellow blossoms on a deep green background donated by the late Lee Kimchee McGrath from her collection of original prints. FAPE also commissioned two major wall sculptures from Ellsworth Kelly for the new U.S. Embassy to be built in Beijing plus two sculptures by Louise Bourgeois for the same embassy.