Historian, Lecturer, Author

Palaces of the Gods: The Glory of South India





Olivier Bernier was born in the United States of French parents, and has lived in both countries, earning his baccalaureate degree in Paris, his B.A. from Harvard College and an M.A. from Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. After being director of exhibitions at the Martha Jackson Gallery, New York, he became a private art dealer in 1968.

 In 1977, Mr. Bernier left that profession to become a historian. Since then, he has written Pleasures and Privilege: Life in France, Naples and the United States, 1700 to 1760; Art and Craft, a novel; The Eighteenth Century Woman; Lafayette, Hero of Two Worlds; Louis the Beloved, The Life of Louis XV; Secrets of Marie Antionette; Louis XIV, A Royal Life; Words of Fire, Deeds of Blood: The Mob, the Monarchy, and the French Revolution; Fireworks at Dusk, Paris in the Nineteen Thirties; and The World in 1800.  He has also written for several magazines, and in 1984, he was chosen as a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library.

Since 1982, Mr. Bernier has been giving two series of sold-out lectures a year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He has also lectured across the country in such venues as the Pierpont Morgan Library, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C

Mr. Bernier’s most recently published texts can be found in The Best Travel Writing from the New York Times.  In 2006, he was awarded the title of chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government.

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