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Sherry Johnson, La Médaille d’Or de Solidarité et Valeur

Sherry Johnson co-founded and was instrumental in building the American Friends of Musée d’Orsay (“AFMO”). A former professional tennis executive, Sherry and her family

moved to London in 1990, where she became an active patron of several arts organizations via those organizations’ American Friends support groups. When she and her husband moved to Paris in 2008, she began looking for similar groups at French arts organizations and realized that the Musée d’Orsay did not have an American Friends group so Sherry and a friend decided to form one.

It turned out that working with a state-owned institution was not straightforward and involved protracted, complex negotiations and extensive legal work. Through her personal contacts, Sherry retained a lawyer to move the legal process forward and engaged the US Ambassador to France to help expedite IRS charitable status approval. She initiated AFMO’s marketing activities and spoke at numerous organizations to encourage American expats to join and support AFMO.

In 2009 the American Friends of Musée d’Orsay was founded, is now well-established, and raises in excess of $1 million every year for the museum and facilitates donations by Americans of works of art to the museum. AFMO’s annual gala weekend has become a major event in Paris, attracting many visitors from across America.

For ten years Sherry served on the AFMO Board as Vice-Chair - France. She identified and recruited the first full-time executive director, and as chair of the Nominating Committee she was instrumental in building, and strengthening, the AFMO Board and helped to secure key individuals from around the US to serve on the Board.

She has been a regular and significant financial supporter of AFMO. She is also an active patron of other Paris organizations that are committed to building French-American ties, including the American Library in Paris, the American Club of Paris, the American Cathedral in Paris, and the American Women’s Group in Paris.


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