June edition: five French cultural events not to be missed in the United States


It’s time to get outside and enjoy the start of summer. Frenchly has a roundup of the best music, arts, and film events celebrating French culture across the United States this month.

Discover Edith Wharton’s life in France.

Ardent Francophile and famed American writer Edith Wharton moved to Paris after her divorce in 1913 and was soon swept up in the maelstrom of World War I. After the war, she left the city and divided her time between homes in St. Petersburg. -Brice-sous-Forêt, just north of Paris, where she wrote her famous novel The age of innocence, and the southern town of Hyères. Although best known for her novels, Wharton’s first published work was actually a guide to interior design that championed French elegance, and her post-war book, The French ways and their significance, celebrates the mores of his adopted country. This summer at his preserved American home, The Mount, in Lenox, MA, a new exhibit showcases Wharton’s eye for design. Organized by researcher Claudine Lesage, author of Edith Wharton in France, “Garden of my soul” includes crockery and silverware, clothing and ephemera like the card (valid for a single visit) giving access to her magnificent gardens at Castel Saint-Claire in Hyères, where she sometimes tolerated curious visitors. The grounds of The Mount, where Wharton first honed his garden design skills, provide an enchanting setting for a stroll. If, however, you find yourself on the French Riviera this summer instead of the Berkshires, the real garden is now an official “remarkable garden” and can be visited every day.

The mountain2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA.
From May 15. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Discover an essential French artist

If you’re one of the lucky New Yorkers heading to the Hamptons this summer, there’s still plenty of opportunity for culture amid sunbathing and cocktails. In Southampton, the seaside outpost of the prestigious Hauser & Wirth gallery will welcome the Parisian artist Camille Henriot for a summer exhibition of striking sculptures and paintings. Henrot’s current vision draws on literature and philosophy, social media and self-help, to explore the impact of contemporary technology on privacy. This exhibition, which includes a series of new works created during the pandemic, shows how human beings can meet the challenges of living in the world we have created.

Hauser & Wirth9 Main Street, Southampton, NY.

May 28-September 4. Hours vary; closed on Mondays.

Attend an outdoor movie screening in Washington DC, Chicago or New York

It wouldn’t be summer without a sunset movie in the park. French film buffs in Washington DC, Chicago and New York can enjoy a dynamic and eclectic selection of films curated by the Villa Albertinewhich mixes classics of the New Wave like that of Jean-Luc Godard Bunch of strangers with modern animated tales and socially responsible dishes. Movies about the Green DC is underway and will continue until July 5, with a varied lineup including the 1956 the hunchback of Notre-Dame de Paris and, on June 9, the contemporary queer romance of Quebec actor-director Xavier Dolan Mathias and Maximepartner event of Capital Pride (pictured above). In Chicago, movies on the lake runs from June 16 to July 7 and highlights films about the natural world, from the beautiful March of the Penguins to the ruminative documentary by Agnès Varda The Gleaners and me. The New York season of Movies on the green focuses on films adapted from literary works and includes twelve titles playing in theaters in Manhattan and Brooklyn (read more in our roundup of French cinema news, here.) It opens this Friday at Central Park with 1970’s Things of life, with Romy Schneider, and runs until September 9.

Times and locations vary.

Explore the street art of the Belle Époque Paris

He has been called the father of the modern poster, whose work caught the eyes of end of century Parisians strolled the boulevards, and pushed their desire for the many and varied pleasures of the city, from cabarets to cocktail parties. The lithographer and painter Jules Cheret (1836-1932) gets a major exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum this summer, bringing together more than 100 works from his long and prolific career, including the 1900 “Musée Grévin”, pictured above. His style is inspired by the swirling colors and playful approach of rococo painters, sharpened and lightened into something distinctly new. Divided into five sections focusing on performance, fashion, journalism, travel and consumer products, “always new” shows the range of entertainment on offer in Paris at the end of the 19th century, when novelty and rapid change came to define what it meant to be modern.

Milwaukee Museum of Art
700 N. Art Museum Drive,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

From June 3 to October 16. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed on Mondays.

Summerstage Artists June 21

Celebrate music wherever you are

Forty years ago in June, the Music Festival started in France, with the aim of revolutionizing the interpretation and experience of music. A survey conducted by the Ministry of Culture in 1981 revealed that while around one in two young people knew how to play an instrument, only a tiny fraction of them grew up to attend concerts or perform in public. Ministers have chosen June 21, the longest day in the northern hemisphere, to inaugurate a national event that will bring music out of concert halls, into the streets and into the public. Within three years, the festival spread across Europe and became a worldwide phenomenon at the turn of the millennium. Open to all who wish to participate, amateurs or professionals, the festival now invades public spaces, from porches to squares and parks, in more than 120 countries each year. This June 21, the event known in the United States as the “Celebrate music” will be bigger than ever, to mark the fortieth anniversary. You can find an event in your city or neighborhood hereand even, if you’re quick, sign up to play.

In New York, the series of free concerts in Central Park Summer internship will honor the festival’s French roots with a special lineup on June 21 featuring legendary rapper MC Solaar and up-and-coming electronic artists Bon Entendeur and Hyphen Hyphen in support (all pictured above).

June 21, 7-10 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, New York.

Joanna Scutts is the author of Home: Bohemian Greenwich Village and the secret club that sparked modern feminism (coming out this week from Seal Press) and The Extra Woman: How Marjorie Hillis Led a Generation of Women to Live Alone and Love It.


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