Monday, September 24, 2007

Princess Grace

Princess Grace lingers in memory

Moving on from Princess Diana, it's time to remember an American princess, Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco, who also died in a car crash, 25 years ago this week.

The tiny European principality with an outsize reputation as a glamour destination commemorates its lost princess this fall with exhibits, a first-ever auction of her frocks, and book and magazine tributes. In keeping with her influence as a fashion icon, there will be window displays in New York and a new "Princess Grace Coral" lipstick by Estée Lauder.

"It seemed the right time to bring to the land of her birth some of the special things that made her such an iconic and memorable figure," says Maguy Maccario-Doyle, Consul General of Monaco in New York.

Americans under 40 might be forgiven for not knowing much about the former Grace Kelly — not even that she is the Kelly in the much-prized Hermès "Kelly bag." She went from Philadelphia Mainliner to Hollywood star to fairy-tale princess in the 1950s, when celebrity coverage was less pervasive, even polite compared with today. She went to her death, from a twisty corniche road in Monaco, just as celeb madness was about to explode.

On Sept. 13, 1982, Grace, then 52, was driving to her family's palace from their country home when she had a stroke, lost control of her car and plunged down the mountainside. She died the next day; her younger daughter, Princess Stéphanie, suffered minor injuries. Grace's royal funeral in Monaco's St. Nicholas Cathedral (where she married Prince Rainier in 1956 and where his funeral was held in 2005) was watched by an estimated 100 million people around the world.

Before Diana, there was Grace — just as beautiful, just as fabled a wedding, just as fashionable, just as much a royal philanthropist, just as tragic a death.

Except Grace had the added cachet of Hollywood glamour —she had an Oscar. And she was well-mannered in an era in which stars never appeared in public without underwear and princesses never blabbed to the media. Grace helped shift the international perception of Monaco as a "sunny place for shady people" to the financially successful tourist mecca it is today.

"What came through was her kind, good soul," says Jamie Niven, 61, vice chairman of Sotheby's. The son of actor David Niven, he knew Grace when he was growing up.

Tributes to Grace include:

Exhibits.The Grace Kelly Years has drawn tourists in Monaco all summer and wraps up Sept. 23. A free exhibit, Grace, Princess of Monaco: A Tribute to the Life and Legacy of Grace Kelly, will be at Sotheby's in New York Oct. 15- 26. Items include dresses, jewelry, letters and photos.

Auctions. On Oct. 25, at the annual Princess Grace Awards gala in New York, Sotheby's will auction two outfits. Proceeds will go to her foundation.

On Oct. 24, Sotheby's and Wynn Resorts will co-host a silent auction for six one-of-a-kind outfits created by American designers "inspired" by Princess Grace; they'll be on display in the windows of Saks Fifth Avenue in New York Oct. 22-26.

•Publishing. Available now: Remembering Grace: 25 Years Later (LIFE Books, $10.99), a selection of intimate photographs from the archive of Grace's favored photographer, LIFE magazine photojournalist Howell Conant. Upcoming: The Grace Kelly Years (Skira/Rizzoli, $55) and Grace Kelly: A Life in Pictures (Pavilion; $27.95).

Media.Town & Country magazine will feature rare photographs in its November issue. WQXR radio in New York will broadcast a special edition of Making Music in Monaco, with music by her favorite musicians and her poetry readings Oct. 15-26.

Awards. At the gala, trophies will go to emerging artists in theater, dance and film.


Anonymous said...



Robert Battle and Michael John Garcés To Receive Princess Grace Statue Awards

George Lucas Receives Prince Rainier III Award Presented by James Earl Jones

NEW YORK, NY – (September 15, 2007) The Board of Trustees of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA and its Chairman, Hon. John F. Lehman, announced today the winners of the 2007 Princess Grace Awards. The Awards for theater, dance and film are named in honor of Princess Grace of Monaco, who helped aspiring artists pursue their goals throughout Her lifetime.

Lehman also announced that the awards will be presented at a black tie Gala to be held on October 25, 2007 at Sotheby’s in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and TRH The Prince and Princess of Hanover. George Lucas will be honored with the Prince Rainier III Award and a check to be presented to him by James Earl Jones in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the arts.

The Foundation, a public charity formed after the death of Princess Grace in 1982, awards scholarships, apprenticeships and fellowships to assist artists with their training.

Pulitzer and Tony Award winning playwright Tony Kushner, Academy Award winner Eric Simonson, and "SpongeBob SquarePants" creator Stephen Hillenburg were previous Princess Grace Award winners.

In addition to the grants bestowed upon the most talented emerging theater, dance, and film artists this year, the Foundation also awarded General Operating Support grants to the companies hosting a 2007 grantee. “These grants are a new component to the Princess Grace Awards package” says Princess Grace Foundation-USA Executive Director Toby E. Boshak. “Companies working with an Award winner will be able to use these grants to help support general operating expenses for the institution,” she said.

For the third consecutive year, the PGF-USA will present choreography fellowships
in the amount of $10,000 each to create new works for ballet and modern dance companies.

The 2007 winners (listed below) represent various colleges, universities, and theater and dance companies throughout the United States. They range in ages from 16 years to late 30s and are culturally diverse. They represent both classic and alternative artistic disciplines and while they are still emerging talent, they are already distinguished in their areas of expertise. Some grew up abroad in Romania, Slovakia, Peru, Colombia and Mexico while others were born and raised domestically in California, Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas and Florida.

Two Princess Grace Statue Awards, the Foundation’s highest honor and accompanied by a check for $25,000, is awarded to two past recipients who have distinguished themselves artistically in the years following their initial Princess Grace Award.

Since inception, over $5 million to more than 500 recipients has been awarded by The Princess Grace Awards. The foundation has nurtured a group of artists that have gone on to feed the entire spectrum of performing and visual arts with innovative, cutting-edge, vibrant theater, dance, film, play and scriptwriting and design. At the awards winners receive their honors, they are relatively unknown but over the years the PGF-USA boasts such luminaries as Tony Kushner, Paul Taziwell (costume designer Color Purple), Nilaja Sun (2007 Obie, Lortel, Outer Critics, Drama League winner for No Child), Kate Robin (a producer/writer of Six Feet Under), Alexander Sokoloff (character animator for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Stuart Little), Eric Darnell (director of Madagascar and Antz), dancers Ethan Stiefel, Terese Capucilli and many others.


The first Princess Grace Awards winners were announced in 1984. The recipients are selected by a panel of experts in their respective fields – theater, dance, and film – and the prizes awarded are in the form of scholarships, apprenticeships and fellowships. They will be bestowed upon 24 artists (listed below) and give away more than $600,000.

Past winners of the Award are eligible to win the coveted Princess Grace Statue, which will be presented at this year’s Gala to Robert Battle for his accomplishments in dance and Michael John Garcés for his accomplishments in theater. The Award includes a $25,000 unrestricted cash gift and a special limited edition Bronze Statue of Princess Grace created by Monegasque artist Kees Verkade. Robert Battle received his original Princess Grace Award in 1993 as a student at The Juilliard School and is Artistic Director of his NYC dance company, Battleworks, which he founded in 2002. In 2005, Battle was honored as a Master of African American Choreography at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Michael John Garcés received his original Princess Grace Award in 1995 with INTAR Theatre and is the Artistic Director of Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles, CA. Garcés has been an award-winning freelance writer, director and performer for over sixteen years and is also a resident playwright at New Dramatists in NYC.

This year’s winners are:


Oana Botez-Ban, Bucharest, Romania
Pierre Cardin Theater Award
Costume Design Fellowship, Classic Stage Company

Gisela Cardenas, Lima, Peru
Robert & Gloria Hausman Theater Award
Directing Fellowship, INTAR

Toccarra Cash, Dayton, OH
Acting Scholarship, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Laurie O'Brien, San Francisco, CA
Fabergé Theater Award
Puppetry Arts Scholarship, California Institute of theArts

Alex Torra, Miami, FL
Grace Le Vine Theater Award
Directing Apprenticeship, Pig Iron Theater

Scott Turner Schofield, Atlanta, GA
Gant Gaither Theater Award
Acting Fellowship, 7 Stages

Kara Manning, Philadelphia, PA
Playwriting Fellowship, New Dramatists

Dance and Choreography

Andrew Bartee, Everett, WA
Dance Scholarship, Pacific Northwest Ballet School

Eric Ray Kupers, Los Angeles, CA
Choreography Fellowship, AXIS Dance Company

Brooklyn Mack, Elgin, SC
Dance Fellowship, Orlando Ballet

Sarah Kathryn Lane, Bloomfield, NY
Dance Fellowship, American Ballet Theatre

Rashaun L. Mitchell, Stamford, CT
Dance Fellowship, Merce Cunningham Dance Company

Darrell Grand Moultrie, Harlem, New York
Choreography Fellowship, Cincinnati Ballet; Cincinnati, OH

Christopher Vo, Dallas, TX
Dance Scholarship, The Juilliard School

Meredith Webster, Manitowoc, WI
Chris Hellman Dance Award
Dance Fellowship, LINES Ballet

Pavel Zuśtiak, Kosice, Slovakia
Choreography Fellowship, Laboratory Dance Company


Maru Buendia-Senties, Mexico
Cary Grant Film Award
Graduate Film Scholarship, University of Texas- Austin

Thomas Javier Castillo, Tucson, AZ
John H. Johnson Film Award
Graduate Film Scholarship, Northwestern University

Gonzalo Escobar, Bogota, Colombia
Undergraduate Film Scholarship, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Robert M. Jones, Boston, MA
Graduate Film Scholarship, American Film Institute

Elyse T. Montague, Rockland, ME
Graduate Film Scholarship, UCSD

Max Winston, Sonoma, CA
Undergraduate Film Scholarship, California Institute of the Arts

Statue Awards - receive a Bronze Statue of Princess Grace created by Monegasque artist Kees Verkade + $25,000

Robert Battle, Artistic Director, Battleworks Dance Company
Michael John Garcés, Artistic Director, Cornerstone Theater Company

Rita said...

Lovely article. Thank you for writing about Princess Grace.

FYI - I just "linked" to you on my new blog:
Would love it if you too, would like back to our blog and especially our website:

Many thanks! Rita


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