American Friends of the Château de Fontainebleau

WHO ARE WE?

The American Friends of the Château de Fontainebleau is dedicated to supporting the work of the Château de Fontainebleau. It brings awareness to the Château’s collections and activities and raises funds for restoration projects, acquisitions, and cultural programming. Through its work, it also promotes stronger ties between France and the United States.

U.S.-based donors can support the Château de Fontainebleau with tax-deductible gifts and donations through the King Baudouin Foundation United States (KBFUS). The KBFUS is a public charity and 501(c)3 organization.

WHAT WE SUPPORT / OUR PRIORITIES

  • preservation and restoration of the château and its collections
  • French-American cultural and educational programming
  • increasing accessibility for American audiences
  • legacies and planned giving
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PHILANTHROPY AT FONTAINEBLEAU

There is a long history of American philanthropy at the Château de Fontainebleau. In 1924, the business magnate John D. Rockefeller donated 4 million francs, which contributed to the restoration of the Belle-Cheminée wing of the castle. Since then, many other US-based individuals and foundations have follow in Rockefeller’s footsteps.

In the past two decades, we have also received major donations from international patrons. In 2008, for instance, the chateau received 10 million euros for the restoration of The Imperial Theater. Thanks to the generosity of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates, we are able to preserve this important landmark.

WHY GIVE?

As our supporter, you will help directly in promoting and advancing the work of the Château de Fontainebleau. Your gifts ensure that current and future generations can enjoy the art and architecture of this historic site.

MEMBERSHIP

 

Donors who would like to become members of the American Friends of the Château de Fontainebleau will soon be able to choose from different levels of membership. These levels will range from $500 to $25,000 and beyond, and each one will have benefits that you will surely enjoy.

Our membership structure will be finalized by early 2023. 

PLANNED GIVING

 

We are currently in the process of establishing a program that will efficiently help members with including gifts in their will to the Château de Fontainebleau. In the meantime, we are happy to discuss any plans or questions that you may have. Contact us by phone or email to set up a meeting.

SPECIAL EVENTS

In addition to an annual gala, we plan on having many events in the coming years. We look forward to hosting member appreciation events and dynamic online programs that foster cultural exchange between France and the United States. We also look forward to hosting benefit trips in Western Europe and the United States, and we hope that our members will join us in exploring the art, history, and culture of both regions.

HOW TO GIVE

If you would like to make a one-time donation, you may do so through the King Baudouin Foundation United States (KBFUS):

  • for gifts by credit card: Click HERE to donate online via the KBFUS website.
  • for gifts by check: Make your check out then KBFUS and write “Château de Fontainebleau” in the memo section. You can then send the check to King Baudouin Foundation United States, 10 Rockefeller Plaza, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10020.
  • for gifts by wire transfer or to contribute other types of property: Contact the KBFUS via email at info@kbfus.org or phone +1 (212) 713-7660.

Donors to the American Friends of the Château de Fontainebleau may claim the maximum tax benefits allowed by U.S. tax law for their contributions. 

SOME OF OUR CURRENT PROJECTS

Porte Dorée
Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Louis XV tenant le limier, allant au bois au carrefour du Puits solitaire,
Apollo

The Porte Dorée, the first royal entrance to Fontainebleau

In 1528, François I launched his first major architectural campaign and with it the construction of the Porte Dorée. This highly ornate structure served as the main entrance to the château, keeping its historical function until the second half of the 16th century. With its architecture, décor, and its frescos by the Mannerist artist Primaticcio, the entrance shows us not only the glory of François I but also a key part of the history of French art.

Since 2015, the Château de Fontainebleau has been implementing a master plan for renovation in order to restore the château to its full splendor. This includes the Porte Dorée, whose restoration will surely enrich our understanding of the castle as the cradle of the French Renaissance and the “true residence of kings.”

The Royal Hunting Cartoons of Jean-Baptiste Oudry

Regarded as a hunting lodge since the reign of the Capetian monarch King Louis VI, the Château de Fontainebleau has asserted itself over centuries and dynasties as one of the most important palaces for French kings, often great lovers of hunting. 

King Louis XV, who wanted to express his fondness for hunting, commissioned the painter Jean-Baptiste Oudry to produce a series of hunting cartoons. Currently, these works reside in the Hunting Apartments of the château and are in major need of conservation. The objective is to be able to restore these paintings then present them in an exhibition dedicated to Oudry in 2024 and, later, in the visit circuit of the castle.

The Busts of the Galerie François I Terrace

Seven busts of historical and mythological Roman figures, such as Apollo and Alexander the Great, once adorned the terrace of the Galerie François I. Due to their physical condition, however, these were removed in 1999 and kept in a safe place for conservation purposes.

The Galerie François I was a major source of pride for the François I. In turn, its terrace also became a focal point of the castle. During the late 16th century, seven busts were added between its windows in order to enhance the terrace and evoke François I’s original vision of creating a “New Rome” here in Fontainebleau. Today, we hope to continue this vision by restoring these sculptures and placing them back in the terrace for all to enjoy.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Send us a message at: mecenat@chateaudefontainebleau.fr

Ticket blanc

Tickets and prices

Online Ticketing

Online Ticketing

Opening hours

The chateau

The chateau is open every day except Tuesday, January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.
From October to March: 9.30 am to 5 pm (last access at 4.15 pm).
From April to September: 9.30 am to 6 pm (last access at 5.15 pm).

The restaurant is open every day for lunch, except on Tuesday until March 31st.

Coming to the chateau

    Calcul de l'itinéraire jusqu'au Château de Fontainebleau