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The Queen of Versailles

© Lauren Greenfield

The Queen of Versailles tells the story of a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of the economic crisis. The photo essay and interviews paint a portrait of two larger than life characters whose rags-to-riches success stories reveal the innate virtues and flaws of the American dream. The story begins with the family triumphantly constructing the biggest house in America, a 90,000 square foot home inspired by the Palace of Versailles in Ile-de-France and the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. Over the next two years, their sprawling empire, fueled by cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis. Major changes in lifestyle and character ensue within the cross-cultural household of family members and domestic staff.

click to view the complete set in the archive

Institute Artist is redefining how stories are produced and told. Representing auteur-driven storytellers, we bring together talent across commercials, photography, fine art, and film. Founded by Matt Shonfeld and Frank Evers. Institute Artists multi-platform production expertise, and established global relationships in entertainment, fine art, and journalism make for unmatched reach and cross-pollination of creative work. Institute Artist has been a leading advocate of the power of underrepresented talent and is fully committed to bringing these authentic voices to our clients by helping them tell compelling and entertaining stories that better connect with their audiences.