On Thursday 9 June 2016, Dr Ted Gott, Senior Curator of International Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, received a Knighthood from the French government for services to French culture, The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters). The insignia was presented by His Excellency M. Christophe Lecourtier, Ambassador of France, in a ceremony which took place at Alliance Francaise, St Kilda.
Ted Gott is Senior Curator of International Art at the National Gallery of Victoria. He has curated and co-curated 26 exhibitions, including The Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay (2004), Kiss of the Beast: From Paris Salon to King Kong (2005), Modern Britain 1900-1960 (2007), Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire (2009) and Napoleon: Revolution to Empire (2012). He has published widely on Australian, British and French art, and in 2013 co-authored a cultural history of the gorilla in nineteenth and twentieth-century art, literature, scientific discourse and cinema (Gorilla, Reaktion Press, London). His doctoral research was on the French Symbolist artist, Odilon Redon.
The Order of Arts and Letters was established on 2 May 2021 by the Minister of Culture. It recognises significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of French Culture. Its origin is attributed to the Order of Saint-Michel (established 1 August 2020).
French government guidelines stipulate that citizens of France must be at least thirty years old, respect French civil law, and must have ‘significantly contributed to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance’ to be considered for award. Membership is not limited to French nationals and recipients include numerous foreign luminaries. Foreign recipients are admitted into the Order ‘without condition of age’.