American Friends Musée d'Orsay

Verena Thornton, Executive Director of American Friends Musée d'Orsay, share with us the American Friends Musee d'Orsay (AFMO) and the stunning world of two celebrated museums for Rosemont Art Advisory

This interview is part of series of artist interview, released every month in our newsletter.

"As a nonprofit public charitable organization, we are dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the Musée d'Orsay and the Musée de l'Orangerie to support exhibitions, education, restoration and renovation projects, and provide a cultural link for Americans in the United States and in Paris through our membership program. Anybody who is passionate about art and French culture will enjoy rare access to the world's foremost collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionism, and early modern French Art.

Our story began in 2009, when co-founders Sherry Johnson and Seonaid McArthur laid the foundation, rallied devoted volunteers, and organized our first, enthusiastically received gala at the Musée d'Orsay in September 2010. Two years later, co-chairs Peter and Susan Solomon, offered me the position of Executive Director. AFMO thrived and thrilled and grew. Today, under the leadership of Elizabeth Kehler we count 300 members and a dedicated board of 28.  

Members enjoy privileged access to the museum a half hour prior to the public opening, and the rare opportunity of our Patron Pass tours, private discoveries of the exhibitions with a curator when the museums are closed to the public. We invite guests to collectors' homes on both sides of the Atlantic, and celebrate art and friendship at our annual Paris weekend. Come join us on October 17 to 20 for a prestigious discovery of the hidden universe of museums, national treasures, artist studios, high fashion, renowned chefs, and a "Diner en Or" around the "Degas and the Opera" exhibition at the Musée d'Orsay.

Raising important funds for the museum, engaging sponsors, working with our board and the museum leadership under President Laurence des Cars is a never-ending challenge. No two days are alike; we are privileged to work surrounded by the timeless beauty of bygone times that remain forever relevant. We welcome our visitors, members, and friends with joy."

For more information about AMFO, please contact 
Verena Thornton +336 99 45 15 23 or at

Credit Pictures:
(left to right) Elizabeth Kehler, AFMO Chair, Franck Riester, Minister of Culture of the French Republic, and Laurence des Cars President of the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie. - Krystal Kenney, 2018