Napoleon - An Intimate Portrait


The Exhibition Team for Treasures of NAPOLEON

About the Collector

Pierre-Jean Chalençon is a recognized authority for his expertise in antiquities from Napoléon I and his Imperial court. Mr. Chalençon has amassed an exceptional collection associated with the Emperor: personal effects, books from the palace libraries, paintings, engravings, sculptures and drawings. Mr. Chalençon's interest in Napoléon began when he was seven years old and received an educational cartoon book on the story of Napoléon. He liked the book so much that he pestered his father to take them to visit Joséphine's beloved home at Malmaison, the Army Museum in Paris and the Imperial Palace at Fontainebleau. “Seeing the things did the rest,” Mr. Chalençon said. “That's where my passion for all things Napoleonic comes from. But I never once thought that I would end up collecting like I do today.”

When he was 17, Pierre-Jean Chalençon sold his motor scooter to buy Napoléon's letter announcing his victory against the Prussians at the Battle of Jena in 1806. Today, his collection includes more than 500 objects. Pieces from the collection have been loaned to museums all over the world including exhibitions in London, Tokyo, Brazil, Australia, and France, however, Napoléon An Intimate Portrait represents the first time the collection has been toured in North America. Utilizing his vast knowledge of both the period and the collection, Pierre-Jean Chalençon is serving as Head Curator.

Mr. Chalençon has devoted his life to the Emperor, and is a noted Napoléon expert and author. He admits his obsession with the showman-general whom he regards as history's greatest strategist and civilizing force. It is the private man, however, that fascinates Mr. Chalençon, as evidenced by Napoléon's toothpaste, toothpicks, hair locks and clothing that are part of his collection. He recently acquired a flask of the rose water that the Emperor carried in his campaign baggage.

“Napoléon is a self-made man who brought glory to France. He is a genius who has a vision of order and seeks to create something . . . He is the first European,” he said.

Mr. Chalençon is president of the Cercle France-Napoléon. He lectures, organizes exhibitions and devotes himself to collecting more Napoleana. He collaborated on Napoléon: The Immortal Emperor with David Chanteranne and Gerard Gengembre published in 2003 by Vendome Press. He co-authored the recently published Le Sacre de Napoléon with Patrick Rambaud. He resides in Paris, France. He is available for lectures at Museum hosting Napoléon An Intimate Portrait.

About the Exhibition Developer

Treasures of NAPOLEON was developed by Russell Etling, a Partner of the Cultural Arts Entertainment Group, LLC, who conceived the Project and served as its Organizer. Mr. Etling has devoted his career to creating exciting, educational and uplifting audience experiences on a variety of platforms. He has directed the development and/or presentation of dozens of featured, permanent and traveling exhibitions on art and design, history, archaeology, physical science and natural history. Working with talented teams of curators, educators, designers and fabricators, his background in stage and theater as a producer, director and production coordinator enables him to foster innovation, understanding and entertainment in his exhibit projects. Mr. Etling worked in the museum field for 14 years as President and CEO of the Miami Museum of Science up until 2002. During his tenure, the institution was accredited by the American Association of Museums and became one of the first Affiliates of the Smithsonian Institution. It also became a national leader training teachers in technology and mentoring at-risk youth.

Prior to heading the Museum of Science, Mr. Etling's company produced and directed a halftime spectacular for national television, promoted stadium concerts, staged numerous major fundraising events and, for four years, managed production and directed lighting for Perry Como's national concert tours. A member of the Actors' Equity Association since 1980, Russell Etling has produced, stage-managed or appeared in more than 2,500 live performances with many of the greatest performers of the 20th Century. His early training was with Walt Disney Productions where he served as stage manager for three years. Mr. Etling graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami in 1977 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Management. Russell Etling Company is based in Miami, Florida, where he was born and raised.

Gary M. Stern, a Partner of the Cultural Arts Entertainment Group, LLC, oversees business development and corporate partnership initiatives for the project. Mr. Stern has over 30 years experience as an owner and managing director of international marketing and promotion companies.  Mr. Stern has effectively designed, created and overseen the manufacturing of custom drink-ware and its use as a unique packaging tool to a cadre of Fortune 100 companies. Prior to the founding of Unique Products, Mr. Stern was President of Exhibit Icons, LLC and from June 1977 to  June 2002, Mr. Stern was Managing Director at the Creative Group where he had primary responsibility for Drink-Ware  and Promotion marketing to Fortune 100 Companies including Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Texaco, Shell, Exxon and Budweiser.  His intimate knowledge of manufacturing both domestically and in the Orient, coupled with his ability to bring a project from conception to marketplace, always on time and on budget, has proven to be a successful combination.  Mr. Stern attended 4 years at University of Miami, Florida studying International Finance and Marketing with a Minor in Economics.  Married since 1981, Mr. Stern is a father to 6 children and a grandfather to one.  Mr. Stern is active in local youth sports programs as well as promoting cultural arts in the community.

Tonia F. Barringer, of Falconer Exhibits, is Concept Designer for Treasures of NAPOLEON having developed and designed engaging exhibits for natural history, maritime and history museums for nearly 20 years. She favors artifact exhibits as the most powerful platform to bring the past alive: “Each piece has a story to tell - a connection with man or nature that is completely unique. Artifacts are the ultimate springboard for the imagination, and one's mind can travel far when staring at a piece once held by a human being who once lived and breathed. These are, after all, the people who shaped the world in which we live today.”

Mary Anna Murphy is the Designer and Exhibit Manager. For Treasures of NAPOLEON she provided final exhibit case designs, final floorplan and exhibity design, mount design, registrarial services, artifact installation, and site logistics and coordination. Her background includes work as a Registrar, Exhibits Director, Exhibit Designer, and Curator for fine arts and historical exhibitions, many of which have traveled to numerous museums and cultural institutions. Her exhibit designs have been featured in local and national media.

Brett Topping, researcher and writer for the exhibition, has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, at the Library of Congress, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and, most recently, for a national magazine. Among the exhibition catalogues and books that she's written and edited are The Age of Grandeur and a Woman Who Lived It; Women Silversmiths, 1685-1845; At Century's End: Norwegian Artists and the Figurative Tradition, 1880-1990; and Isadora Duncan: The Dances.

Natalie Brown is Marketing Director for Treasures of NAPOLEON. She has served in the chief marketing role for three major South Florida museums spanning the disciplines of history, science and art for 12 years. She has designed and produced award-winning exhibition catalogs, marketing campaigns and promotional materials from brochures to billboards for national traveling exhibitions.


Images © Chalençon
A Traveling Exhibition from Russell Etling Company (c) 2011