Editor’s Miscellany: Timothy Corrigan in Boston

By Kyle Hoepner

On the evening of Wednesday, October 30, Los Angeles–based designer Timothy Corrigan will be in Boston for a lecture, book signing, and dinner on behalf of the Boston Chapter of the French Heritage Society, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the French architectural legacy in both France and the United States. The evening’s topic? Corrigan has for some years been the lucky, energetic, and talented owner of a monument historique in France’s Pays-de-la-Loire, the Chateau du Grand-Lucé.

All photos by Eric Piasecki, courtesy of Rizzoli.

Dating from the later eighteenth century, the chateau has been described as “one of the most precious elements of the architecture of the French Enlightenment.” Corrigan has been working since 2005 to restore the property’s gardens and return the building’s interiors to a proper state of grandeur and elegance.

Corrigan and architectural photographer Eric Piasecki have now published a book to document the results of his efforts. An Invitation to Chateau du Grand-Lucé: Decorating a Great French Country House, available starting this month from Rizzoli, surveys milestones in the evolving life of the chateau, gives advice on the art of French decoration, and muses on how to live in historic homes in a modern way.

Corrigan’s appearance in Boston is titled “A Visit to Chateau du Grand-Lucé.” His talk and book signing at the Chilton Club in Boston’s Back Bay will be preceded by a cocktail reception and followed by an optional dinner. The event will undoubtedly be our prime opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes account of the chateau’s lovely rebirth.

Best of all, assuming Corrigan’s story and his book’s gorgeous images of the chateau particularly catch your fancy, you can actually stay there—imagine waking up in the bedroom above! More information about that particular temptation is available on the chateau’s own website.

Petite Plaisance, American home of French writer Marguerite Yourcenar

One final reason to attend on October 30: Not many people may recall that French novelist Marguerite Yourcenar, the first woman elected to the Academie Française and probably best known in the English-speaking world for her novel Memoirs of Hadrian (does anyone else share with me slightly guilty young-adult memories of wallowing second-hand in the emperor’s extravagant grief for his Antinous?), spent the latter decades of her life in the U.S., living first in Connecticut and then on Mount Desert Island, Maine, with her companion Grace Frick. Well, profits from the evening will go toward the restoration of Petite Plaisance, their long-time house in Northeast Harbor.

Ticket prices are $125 ($50 tax deductible) for the 6:00 p.m. cocktail reception and lecture or $195 for the reception, lecture, and a dinner to follow (both prices include a copy of Timothy Corrigan’s book). To attend or for more information, please contact François Bardonnet, co-chair of the French Heritage Society’s Boston Chapter, at [email protected] or (617) 973-6601. The book is also available directly from Rizzoli.

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