RACINE DE MONVILLE HOME PAGE NEWS LOG
|As part of the annual European Heritage Days, the Désert de Retz was open to the public on Saturday, September 18, 2010. An estimated 1,200 persons took the occasion to visit Monsieur de Monville's garden. Members of the non-profit organization, Le Désert de Retz: Jardin des Lumières, were on hand throughout the day to answer visitors' questions and orient them to the points of interest in the garden.
Once a year, citizens in 50 countries celebrate Europe’s cultural heritage. This initiative of the European Heritage Days, launched by the Council of Europe in 1991, has been since 1999 a joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, putting new cultural assets on view and opening up historical buildings normally closed to the public.
|>||A photograph of Monsieur de Monville's Column House was featured on the front cover of the Yvelines edition of the French news magazine L'Express for the week of September 15-21, 2010. A full-page article about the Désert de Retz was included in the magazine's special European Heritage Days supplement.|
Having trained as an architect, McCorkle develops his work by linking modernism, functionalism and ornamentation with a particular interest for deserted structures, evoking traces of a failed utopia and the temporal interference that certain monuments suggest.
The focus of Corey McCorkle’s project is the Désert de Retz in the town of Chambourcy. This unique and unlikely place has provided inspiration for a number of artistic creations (by Colette, Jacques Prévert, Abel Gance, the Surrealists). Here the artist has developed a totally new work integrating film and sculpture, to show for the first time at the Plateau.
Dates of the exposition: March 11-May 9, 2010
The article incorrectly implies that the Desert de Retz was "rescued" by then-President François Mitterrand who "landed in a helicopter at the Desert de Retz in 1990 on the spur of the moment." In fact, President Mitterrand visited the Desert de Retz on July 20, 1990, upon the personal invitation of the two co-owners, Olivier Choppin de Janvry and Jean-Marc Heftler-Louiche, who had undertaken an extensive and costly restoration of the Desert de Retz starting in 1986.
November 16, 2009. Will Viney published an article in English about the Desert de Retz on his blog, Waste Effects. A longer version of this text was presented in June to the Romantic Realignments series, Oxford.
October 24, 2009. Elizabeth Legros Chapuis published an article about the Desert de Retz entitled "Folie au Désert," accompanied by photographs and a link to the Racine de Monville Home Page in her blog, Sédiments.
September 25, 2009. French Minister of Culture and Communications Frédéric Mitterrand officially reopened the Desert de Retz to the public in an inauguration ceremony held at the garden on September 24, 2009, before over 1,500 guests. Mitterrand, whose uncle, the late president François Mitterrand had visited the Desert de Retz and encouraged its preservation, delivered the dedicatory speech, following remarks by author Julien Cendres, Dr. Pierre Morange and Alain Schmitz, President of the Conseil General des Yvelines.
Cendres is a native of Chambourcy and co-author with Chloé Ridiguet of Le Désert de Retz, paysage choisi. Dr. Morange is the Mayor of Chambourcy and a Deputy in the French National Assembly. During the ceremony, he was awarded the coveted Marianne dOr for 2009, granted each year to recognize a mayors efforts to promote economic development, cultural activities and municipal services.
Other well-known personalities who attended the ceremonies included fashion designers Chantal Thomass and Sonia Rykiel and novelist and publisher Régine Déforges. At the close of the event, guests enjoyed a champagne buffet hosted by the Golf de Retz.
Article in French, "Le Desert de Retz, rendez-vous des people," from the September 25, 2009, issue of the Paris daily, Le Parisien.
Throughout Europe, during the European Heritage Days, sites and monuments, some normally closed, are opened to the public. It is estimated that more than 30,000 sites and monuments throughout Europe, including more than 15,000 in France alone, participated in the event and attracted some 20 million visitors.
September 18, 2009. A second, revised edition of Le Désert de Retz, paysage choisi by Julien Cendres and Chloé Radiguet was published today. Preface by the late President François Mitterrand and postface by Dr. Pierre Morange, Mayor of Chambourcy. This book contains a detailed chronology of the Désert de Retz up to the present, along with numerous black-and-white and color illustrations and an extensive bibliography. For purchase details, contact Amazon.fr or FNAC.com.
June 20, 2009. Dr. Pierre Morange, the Mayor of Chambourcy, was quoted in the June 10, 2009, issue of a local weekly publication Le Courrier des Yvelines, as stating that the Desert de Retz was officially reopened to the public on June 13, 2009.
According to the article, visits to the Desert de Retz will be scheduled on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from June to October and will be by appointment only. Call +33(0)1 39 22 31 37 for information and reservations.
An article by Claire Bommelaer entitled entitled, "Le Désert de Retz sort de son sommeil" was published in the June 16, 2009, issue of the French daily Le Figaro.
May 23, 2009. The French government's Journal Officiel announced the creation on May 15, 2009, of an association known as "Le Desert de Retz Jardin des Lumieres." The purpose of the organization is to promote the Desert de Retz by organizing visits, conferendes and meetings as well as contributing to the restoration of the garden and commercialization of products. The association is headquartered in the Chamboury Town Hall.
Déclaration à la sous-préfecture de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. LE DESERT DE RETZ, JARDIN DES LUMIERES. Objet : le développement et la mise en oeuvre toute action et animation ayant pour but la promotion du Désert de Retz, site classé monument historique (MH). Elle travaille notamment à organiser des visites et conférences, ainsi que des rencontres fréquentes avec ses partenaires dans les domaines associatifs et culturels. Elle participe à lévolution des programmes de réhabilitation, elle commercialise des produits dérivés pour le compte de la commune de Chambourcy. Les relations avec la commune sont définies dans le cadre dune convention. Siège social : Hôtel de Ville, place Charles de Gaulle, 78240 Chambourcy. Annonce.
March 27, 2009. Dr. Pierre Morange, Mayor of Chambourcy and Deputy in the French National Assembly, posted updated information about the Desert de Retz in French on his official blog.
The mayor plans to open the Désert de Retz to the public by reservation only during the course of 2009 and hopes that the restored garden can serve as the venue for cultural activities and professional gatherings in the future.
January 22, 2009. A blogger whose weblog is called Daniel Has Potential has uploaded a series of photographs of folly gardens in Europe, includng two of the Desert de Retz, the Pyramid Icehouse and the Column House.
September 25, 2008. In a telephone conversation, a representative of the Chambourcy Town Hall confirmed the acquisition of the Desert de Retz and the approval of the transaction by the Conseil d'Etat.
September 11, 2008. A French website, SainGer.com reported today that the Ambassador of the United States to France, the Honorable Craig Stapleton, accompanied by the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, the Honorable Cho Il-Hwan, recently paid an unofficial visit to the Desert de Retz. The town of Chambourcy has posted pictures of the visit on its website. The town is currently seeking philantrophic support for the restauration of the various structures in the garden in view of its eventual reopening to the public.
August 8, 2008. The Russian economics journal Vedomosti published an article about British and European folly gardens with a description of the Desert de Retz and links to the Racine de Monville Home Page and other folly websites.
July 26, 2008. Gwenda Brophy has written an excellent overview of British and Continental folly gardens in the Financial Times entitled Extreme Living, with specific reference to the Desert de Retz.
July 16, 2008. The Racine de Monville Home Page was added to the "Architecture Buildng Types" category of the Airnyc--All About Arts online arts directory.
May 30, 2008. The Centre Franco-Chinois of the University of Tongji in Shanghai, China, organized an important exposition entitled Cathay aux Jardins des Lumières: «Limage de la Chine dans les jardins en France au XVIIIe siècle» . The exposition ran from May 30 through July 15, 2008.
Correspondence and books, most notably an important work by the Englishman William Chambers after a visit to China, aroused a wave of enthusiasm in Europe for Chinese gardens in the latter half of the 18th century that led to the construction of numerous "Chinese" follies and pavilions, including Monsiur de Monville's Chinese House.
The exposition chronicles and documents these structures with numerous reproductions of 18th century engravings and recent color photographs as well as explanatory texts in Chinese and French.
View all all twenty-nine panels of the exposition.
May 2, 2008. The Aqueduc de Retz was built during the reign of Louis XIV--from around 1680 to 1690. Its purpose was to provide water for the fountains in the gardens of the Chateau of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. A French-language website called Rue des Lumières has posted a map and descriptive texts, along with 31 color photographs of the six-kilometer long underground aquaduct.
Laqueduc de Retz, construit sous Louis XIV (vers 1680-1690), avait pour vocation dalimenter en eau les fontaines du château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Carte et textes. Trente-et-une photographies couleur.
April 3, 2008. In a subsequent post on the blog referenced below, Nathalie Bieleu cites an article appearing in the April 3, 2008, issue of Courier des Yvelines stating that the Desert de Retz had, in fact, been purchased by the Société Foncière de Joyenval, which owns the golf course adjacent to the garden.
Additionally, a new entry, undated, Nouvelles du Désert, on the website of the Association Histoire de Chambourcy, de Retz et d'Aigremont (HISCREA), states that the Société Foncière de Joyenval had in fact purchased the Desert de Retz and immediately retroceded it to the town of Chambourcy for a symbolic payment of 1 euro--pending approval of the transaction by the Conseil d'Etat, the legal advisory authority of the French government.
February 1, 2008. In an entry entitled "Le Désert de Retz va sortir de l'oubli", Nathalie Joëlle Bieleu, the author of a French-language blog called moi telle que je suis blogueuse globetrotteuse quoted a parliamentarian representing the town of Chambourcy as saying that the Desert de Retz would be "acquired for the symbolic price of one euro and opened to the public during 2009."
November 20, 2007. Pierre Berloquin added a comment about the Desert de Retz and a link to the Racine de Monville Home Page in his French-language blog, Circonstances atténuantes.
November 6, 2007. A French weblog called Forêt de l'Arc-en-Ciel, which describes itself as a "forum ésotérique," published a post by "Hurlelune" entitled Jardins à Fabriques ou Folies : lexemple du Désert de Retz, consisting of text in Frencha photographs of the Desert de Retz, as well as a link to the Racine de Monville Home Page.
June, 2007. Swedish historians Lars & Nanna Cnattingius included a description of the Desert de Retz and a full-page color photograph of Monsieur de Monville's Column House by the webmaster in their book, Ruiner. Historia, öden och vård.
April 27, 2007 Ronald W. Kenyon delivered a two-hour lecture in French about the Désert de Retz in the Salle de la Chaussée in the town of L'Etang-la-Ville. The lecture was sponsored by the L'Etang-la-Ville chapter of Accueil des Villes Françaises. Photo of the lecture, courtesy Pierre Isselin.
October 3, 2006. Two of Michael Kenna's photographs of Monsieur de Monville's Column House along with a text in Spanish about the Desert de Retz appeared in El Blog de Irene Gracia, an apparently-defunct weblog by the novelist Irene Gracia, author of the novel El coleccionista de almas perdidas, a section of which, entitled Los Sustanciales, takes place at the Desert de Retz.
La Colonne Détruite podría ser la casa de mis sueños y de mis pesadillas. Aquí ubiqué el cuento Los Sustanciales, de mi novela El Coleccionista de Almas Perdidas. En él se narra la historia de una cofradía de seres creados por la mano del hombre que cada año se reúnen en un jardín diferente: desde el jardín del edén hasta el del fin de los tiempos. El último encuentro de Los Sustanciales tuvo lugar en este espacio mágico de Chamburcy[sic], sin duda porque allí encontraron el cobijo que sólo el arte de la arquitectura puede ofrecer. Este espacio simbólico es un sueño de piedra, la escenografía real y perfecta para que estos seres virtuales vivan su propio paraíso o su propio infierno. --Irene Gracia
October 19, 2005. Opening of a new exposition at the Château de Fontainebleau, "Court Theatre: Shows at Fontainebleau in the 18th Century." In the eighteenth century, the Château de Fontainebleau was a particularly creative environment,producing many new shows that enjoyed lasting success. Costumes and props, drawings, engravings, and manuscripts complete this glimpse of the way shows were organised at the chateau: 150 works in all, from private and public collections in France and abroad.
The 43-page press release contains descriptions in French of all the works along with a chronology and practical information. The exposition continues until January 23, 2006.
September 15, 2005. Issue number 36 of the Racine de Monville Home Page News was circulated today. The first issue appeared on July 4, 2002. If you would like to add your name to the mailing list and receive the newsletter regularly, send an email to the Webmaster.
June 13, 2005. Jean-Marc Heftler-Louiche, co-owner of the Desert de Retz, along with Dominique Césari, author of Jardins des Lumières en Ile-de-France, recently published by Parigrammes, and the webmaster of the Racine de Monville Home Page, Ronald Kenyon, met for lunch at Les Editeurs in the Latin Quarter of Paris. During the lunch, each of these Three Musketeers defended his personal interpretation of the significance of the Desert de Retz and responded to questions from the other guests. Photo: from left to right, Heftler-Louiche, Kenyon, Césari.
Jean-Marc Heftler-Louiche, co-propriétaire du Désert de Retz, ainsi que Dominique Césari, auteur de louvrage Jardins des Lumières en Ile-de-France, récemment paru chez Parigramme, et Ronald Kenyon, webmestre de la Racine de Monville Home Page, se sont réunis au déjeuner aux Editeurs au Quartier Latin. Pendant le repas, chacun des Trois Mousquetaires a défendu sa thèse concernant le symbolique du Désert de Retz et a répondu aux interrogations des autres convives. Photo: de gauche a droit, Heftler-Louiche, Kenyon, Césari.
April 29, 2005. View a watercolor of Monsieur de Monville's Column House by acclaimed Latin American surrealist painter Alfredo Castañeda. This piece is an early work from the artist, signed and dated 1967. From Noyola Anticuarios, Monterrery, Mexico.
January 30, 2005. The Racine de Monville Home Page was referenced on a post to a weblog called fastacting: "[Situationalist author] Guy Debord considered it one of the esoteric, psychogeographical centers of Paris." Well, of course, the Desert de Retz isn't in Paris, but this is what the blogger was referring to.
January 2, 2005. In a post about follies and monuments, the pseudonymous "Thomas J. Wise" posted a link to the Racine de Monville Home Page on Metafilter, the community weblog. This is the second mention of the Racine de Monville Home Page on Metafilter.
November 5, 2004. The decorative hardware created by an eccentric Bostonian locksmith named Enoch Robinson (1801-1888), became famous throughout the United States, and examples of his originality remain today in Boston and in Washington, where some of Robinson's fixtures still operate doors in the U.S. Treasury Building next to the White House.
But Enoch Robinson's most famous creation may have been his own home, a round house that he built in Somerville, Massachusetts. The shape of the house has been traced by architectural historians to Monsieur de Monville's Column House at the Desert de Retz.
Enoch Robinson's Round House is located at 36 Atherton Street in Somerville, Massachusetts. It is privately owned and can not be visited. Badly needed restorations were undertaken in the 1970's but never completed. In 2009 the Round House was acquired by a new owner who was working on its restoration.
October 14, 2004.
Again this year, the Association Histoire de Chambourcy, de Retz et d'Aigremont (
HISCREA), sponsored a series of Lundis du Désert walks in the Forêt de Marly from October 2004 through March 2005. The walks were be led by Pierre Emile Renard, a historian with extensive knowledge of the Désert de Retz. During the walks, visitors were able to view most of the follies at the Desert de Retz from vantage points outside the garden. Additional informaton: telephone 01 34 74 47 51 or contact
September 27, 2004 The Municipal Council of Chambourcy, in its monthly deliberations, decided to undertake negotiations with the co-owners of the Desert de Retz in view of acquiring the property, restoring the garden and opening it to the public once again. Target date: September 2005. For more information (in French) consult the minutes of the meeting on the Chambourcy website.
October 21, 2003. The Association Histoire de Chambourcy, de Retz et d'Aigremont (HISCREA), sponsored a series of Lundis du Désert walks in the Forêt de Marly from November 2003 through March 2004.
October 12, 2003. The Age of Watteau, Chardin and Fragonard: Masterpieces of French Genre Painting opens at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The exhibition will include Antoine Watteau's fêtes galantes; Boucher's lyrical pastorals; Jean Siméon Chardin's dignified representations of bourgeois life; Jean-Honoré Fragonard's dangerous liaisons; and Louis-Léopold Boilly's polished interiors and Paris street scenes. The show will run through January 11, 2004, then move to the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie, from February 8 through May 9, 2004.
September 29, 2003. A discription of the Desert de Retz and four photographs copied from the Racine de Monville Home Page were posted to a French weblog called M'Zelle Jenny's. In 2005 this weblog was defunct.
September 20-21, 2003. Launched twenty years ago by Jack Lang, then the French Minister of Culture, this year's Journées Européennes du Patrimoine are scheduled for the weekend of September 20-21. Thousands of historic sites, including many that are normally closed to the public, will be open during the weekend. Consult the full schedule for France.
May 23-25, 2003. Le ministère de la culture crée une manifestation nationale : "Rendez-vous aux jardins" qui a l'ambition d'être pour le végétal ce que les Journées du patrimoine sont à la pierre, au métal ou au béton. Pour l'occasion, quelque 900 jardins, publics ou privés, seront ouverts aux visiteurs. Lire l'article au Monde du 21 mai 2003.
May 13, 2003. As part of its week-long study tour, An American in Paris: The Legacy of Jefferson, the National Trust for Historic Preservation sponsored a guided tour of the Desert de Retz.
May 4, 2003. Jean-Antoine Houdin - Sculptor of the Englightenment, an exposition of 66 works by the greatest European portrait sculptor of the last half of the 18th century, opens at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The show will run through September 7, 2003 in Washington, then will move to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles from November 4, 2003 to January 25, 2004; and the Chateau de Versailles from March 1 to May 30, 2004.
May 1, 2003. Jean-Marc Heftler-Louiche delivered a presentation on the Desert de Retz to 250 members of the Harvard Club and escorted the guests to a picnic and garden party at the Desert de Retz.
April 24, 2003. For the third year in a row, the Racine de Monville Home Page has been selected by the International Association of Web Masters & Designers(IAWMD) to receive its Golden Web Award for 2003-2004.
April 12, 2003. Anne Vallayer-Coster: peintre à la cour de Marie-Antoinette L'oeuvre d'Anne Vallayer-Coster, artiste virtuose souvent comparée à Chardin mais oubliée au rayon femmes par la "grande" histoire de l'art, revient en pleine lumière au musée de la Vieille Charité à Marseille, seule escale européenne d'une exposition créée aux Etats-Unis.
L'exposition, conçue par le Dallas Museum of Art, a déjà tourné à Washington et New York (Frick Collection). Elle est présentée à Marseille jusqu'au 23 juin.
March 20, 2003. In a thread about country gardens and nature diaries, a reference to the Racine de Monville Home Page was posted on Metafilter, a collaborative weblog that is open to contributions by the public. Metafilter was rated "best media blog" by Forbes magazine on March 17, 2003.
January 22, 2003. Discover Monsieur de Monville's contemporary and one of France's best still-life painters, the long-neglected Anne Vallayer-Coster: Painter to the Court of Marie-Antoinette, at a new exposition at the Frick Collection in New York. Runs until March 23, 2003.
Buy the Anne Vallayer-Coster catalogue illustrated with 175 color and 50 black-and-white reproductions from Amazon.com and save 30%!
January 14, 2003. The Racine de Monville Home Page was listed on the Ile-de-France page of French-at-a-Touch, an English-language portal providing information, history, maps and other resources about French-speaking countries.
January 13, 2003. The Racine de Monville Home Page and Monsieur de Monville's Garden were listed on the SAPLING Landscape Gateway. SAPLING - the Architecture, Planning & Landscape INformation Gateway - contains over 700 annotated links to websites, books and news stories worldwide.
January 11, 2003. The Desert de Retz is located at a latitude of approximately 48.9 degrees North and a longitude of approximately 2.0 degrees East. As of today, these coordinates appear on the GeoURL Address Server.
GeoURL is a location-to-URL reverse directory that allows you to find URLs by their proximity to a given location. The site is currently offline.
December 12, 2002. Mathematical oddity: on 12/12/2002 this site received its 12012th visitor.
December 1, 2002. A description of the Racine de Monville Home Page was added to the John “Mad Jack” Fuller website. Fuller, a younger contemporary of Francois Racine de Monville, was an eccentric with a penchant for constructing follies, including a pyramid, an obelisk and a classical temple.
September 9, 2002. The Racine de Monville Home Page recorded the eleven thousandth visit since the site was launched in 1996.
August 31, 2002. In today’s entry, the British weblog Plep featured a description of the Racine de Monville Home Page and a link to this site. Plep is an outstanding weblog with much excellent content.
June 22, 2002. The Racine de Monville Home Page was referenced in a message posted on Yaronet.com.
June 15, 2002. The Tourist Offices of Etampes and Méréville sponsored an exceptional day-long visit to the gardens of Méréville and Jeurre. Méréville, along with the Désert de Retz, was one of the greatest eighteenth-century French folly gardens. After the decline of Méréville, a number of its follies were salvaged and transported to the park at Jeurre.
June 1, 2002. Faculty, staff and students of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure in Paris enjoyed a déjeuner sur l'herbe at the Désert de Retz that was followed by a tour of the garden escorted by Olivier Choppin de Janvry.
May 15, 2002. The Racine de Monville Home Page registered its ten thousandth visitor.
April 26, 2002. Following a message about the Francophilia Page of this site posted on the rec.travel.europe newsgroup on the Usenet, Peter Hornby added a link to the Racine de Monville Home Page on his site, The Languedoc Pages.
April 14, 2002. Sean K. MacPherson writes in today's New York Times Magazine about Lotusland, the garden of Madame Ganna Walska, whose credo was "Enemy of the average." Created in Montecito, California, Lotusland is a labyrinthine collection of many gardens, "The living incarnation of Walska's irrational exuberance." Included is a Lotusland slide show.
Another article has short descriptions and illustrations of five more of MacPherson's fantasy lands: Carlos de Beistegui's Paris penthouse; Edward James's Las Pozas in Xilitla, Mexico; Dawnridge, the Beverly Hills home and garden of Tony Duquette; the Old Deaf School Park's topiary Garden in Columbus, Ohio; and Alfonso Ossorio's the Creeks at Georgica Pond on Long Island.
Paris and the South of France: In the Footsteps of Jefferson
The 2002 Study Trip abroad of the Decorative Arts Trust focused on the thoughts, passions and reality of Thomas Jefferson in France from 1784-1789. Included in the program was a visit to the Desert de Retz, accompanied by Oliver Choppin de Janvry.
The Decorative Arts Trust is a non-profit organization of collectors, museum professionals, and others who share an interest in the study and preservation of the decorative arts.
January 6, 2002. Fictionalized Column House centerpiece of new novel.
An exact replica of Monsieur de Monville’s Column House at the Desert de Retz figures as the focal point of I’ll Let You Go, a new novel by Bruce Wagner. In the novel, a fabulously rich industrialist erects the replica of the Column House on his estate in the exclusive Los Angeles suburb of Bel Air and his nephew disappears after spending his wedding night in the structure… Read the review by Jay McInerney in the New York Times.
Buy the book. at Amazon.com and save 30%!
August 19, 2001. The International Association of Web Masters & Designers selected the Racine de Monville Home Page as a winner of its Golden Web Award 2001-2002.
July 6, 2001. "Charlottesville: The Other Utopia Jefferson Founded" is the title of an article by Paula Dietz in today's New York Times that discusses how Thomas Jefferson's visit to the Desert de Retz influenced his design for the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. Sign-in required.
June 3, 2001. During a visit to France, the webmaster and two friends from St.-Germain-en-Laye went to the site of the Desert de Retz. Some storm damage is still evident on the wall protecting the property, but the Column House and the Theatre Decouvert were visible and in good condition as was the Petit Autel Presque Ruiné.
April 1, 2001. The Racine de Monville Home Page was referenced in the Web Watch column of the Spring, 2001, issue of Follies: The International Magazine for Follies, Grottoes and Garden Buildings. This magazine is published quarterly by the Folly Fellowship.
March 15, 2001. While the webmaster was in Paris, he received an email from Jessica Williams, informing him that none of the photographs on the site were visible. After confirmation that this was indeed the case, the problem was quickly corrected. Jessica Williams is a gifted and creative jazz pianist with a long and distinguished career as a leader. She is also an entrepreneur, having designed her own web site where you can listen to samples of her work and order CD's directly from her.
January 4, 2001. The Racine de Monville Home Page receives the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) content label. Content Labels generated by ICRA conform to an internet industry standard known as PICS - the Platform for Internet Content Selection. The ICRA content labeling system makes the internet safer for children and helps parents select sites with content that is appropriate for their children. Read more about ICRA.
December 19, 2000. CNN.com published an excellent article about "Earth from Above," the outdoor exposition of 200 sensational aerial photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand that attracted more than 2.5 million visitors to the Jardin du Luxembourg this summer. Includes a gallery of photographs and links.
November 18, 2000. This site's Francophilia page is featured on Vues du Ciel, which billed itself as the Internet's first French-English weblog. The blog is now offline. What are blogs? They are unquestionably the best way to explore the Web!
November 16, 2000. Tom Dowd of the University of Virginia reports that over 300 trees were destroyed at the Desert de Retz during last year's storms and that "the damage was very much in evidence" during his visit on October 26, 2000. The University of Virginia bought several American trees to help with the reforresting of the Desert de Retz.
October 22-27, 2000. Thomas Jefferson in Paris was the theme of a six-day program of discussions, tours, and other events sponsored by the University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundationm and led by Professor Tom Dowd. The program included a visit to the Desert de Retz.
October 12, 2000. "Surf the Palace at Versailles. Donations Accepted" is the title of an article by Michael Pollack in today's New York Times about the Versailles web site. Sign-in required.
May 4, 2000. The Washington Post publishes an article by Adrian Higgins about Chanticleer, a 30-acre garden in Wayne PA, containing an artificial ruin inspired by the Desert de Retz.
April 27, 2000. The city of St.-Germain-en-Laye presented a conference about the Desert de Retz by Pierre-Emile Renard in the Office Municipal de Tourisme.
April 6, 2000. The New Orleans chapter of Friends of Vieilles Maisons Françaises, now renamed French Heritage Society sponsored a lecture by Olivier Choppin de Janvry entitled "Le Desert de Retz: An 18th century French Folly Garden."
March 2-May 28, 2000. The Newcomb Art Gallery at Tulane University in New Orleans presented an exposition in the Woldenberg Art Center Gallery entitled: Pondering the Folly: The Désert de Retz and its Legacy.
February 23, 2000. An international subscription program has been set up by the Château de Versailles to replant the 10,000 trees uprooted by the storm on December 25-26, 1999. A total of $23 million is needed. For only $154 anyone can adopt a tree to be planted in the park at Versailles. Read the article in the Christian Science Monitor.
January 31, 2000. Amazon.com forwards the first payment of referral fees for purchases made from the Racine de Monville Home Page. The amount, $30.19, will be contributed to the World Monuments Fund or another organization working to preserve the Désert de Retz and other endangered sites.
December 25-26 and December 27-28, 1999. With hurricane-force winds, the worst storms in recorded history destroy over 300 million trees in western Europe. In the Forêt de Marly, an estimated 130,000 trees are uprooted. According to preliminary reports, the buildings of the Désert de Retz suffer no damage.
November 30, 1999. The Racine de Monville Home Page is added to the data base of the World Wide Arts Resources. WWAR was created in 1994 and is now the Web's largest collection of arts-related links.
November 20, 1999. The Racine de Monville Home Page is accepted into the architectural history section of the Open Directory Project. The Open Directory Project's goal is to produce the most comprehensive directory of the web, by relying on a vast army of volunteer editors.
October 29, 1999. Dominique Césari, who has created an informative site about eighteenth century gardens, and Ronald Kenyon visit and photograph the park at Jeurre, 45 kilometers south of Paris. Jeurre is the location of four fabriques that once graced the fabulous garden at Méréville, designed in 1784 by Hubert Robert for the Marquis de Laborde. The four fabriques, the Laiterie, the Temple of Filial Piety, the Rostral Column and the Cenotaph of Captain Cook, were relocated to Jeurre at the turn of the century.
September 30, 1999. The Racine de Monville Home Page hosts its 1,000th visitor.
September 6, 1999. The Racine de Monville Home page is now listed by Yahoo! on its search engine.
August 20, 1999. The Racine de Monville Home Page becomes an associate of Amazon.com with all commissions allocated to a fund for the restoration of the Desert de Retz.
August 17, 1999. The Racine de Monville Home Page is added to the French Revolution Home Page (currently offline).
June 4-6, 1999. The Architectural Association in London hosted an international symposium,French Gardens and Their Conservation, featuring lectures by specialists from France and England. Olivier Choppin de Janvry delivered a lecture entitled "The Désert de Retz: The Rescue of a Late-Eighteenth-Century Landscape Garden."