- Purchase/rental options available:
John D. Rockefeller, Jr. expended some $2.85 million on restoration work at Versailles, Fontainebleau, and Reims Cathedral in the 1920s and 1930s. Tempting as it is to see this expenditure as part of a broader philanthropic strategy after World War I, Rockefeller Junior was pursuing a largely personal interest in natural and cultural conservation; in these years he funded many other projects in the U.S. and around the world. Looking specifically at the French restorations, Gabriel Hanotaux characterized the work as "the internationalism of beauty." During the war, as president of the Rockefeller Foundation and chairman of the United War Work Campaign, Rockefeller had learned a great deal about how philanthropy was being transformed. He and others began to see discrete and distinctive roles for mass popular giving campaigns, professionalized foundations, and government. Through his restoration work, he began to draw on those lessons to shape a distinctive role for his personal giving.