Heidi Leigh Burnham

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HEIDI LEIGH BURNHAM, Chevalier de l'Ordre des arts et des Lettres

Registration no.: 003/2022

Country of origin : United States
Place of origin : New York City
Granted : No
Granted/officially recorded by : -

Burnham arms.jpg

Official English blazon

Arms: Per fess, the chief per pale azure and tenné, in dexter an iris leaved and slipped argent, in sinister a paintbrush and a quill in saltire surmounted by a key fesswise sable, the base or, a phoenix rising murrey.

Other language blazon

French: Coupé en chef parti d'azur à l'iris d'argent et d'orangé à la plume, pinceau, et à la clef croisée de sable et en pointe d'or au phénix de mûre.


The quill and paintbrush symbolize fine arts and literature. The armiger was awarded a medal and granted the title, Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, (Chevalier de l'Ordre des arts et des Lettres), by the French Ministry of Art and Culture, on May 17th, 2016. The honour was bestowed for contributions having to do with promoting art and culture, both in France and in the United States.

The key symbolizes the armiger’s obligation as the owner of a château to safeguard the historic monument. The cross on the top of the key represents the Occitan region, where the Chateau of Belcastel was built more than 1000 years ago in France.

The Phoenix was chosen to symbolize the dynamic history of Château Belcastel, because it has proverbially "risen from the ashes", again and again.... First, in the 8th or 9th century, the little castle was built stone by stone as a bastion above a small chapel. Over the centuries it grew into a warrior fortress as generations of knights and nobles built their legacies within it. Then, in the 16th century it was abandoned and left to utter ruin. In 1973 a renowned French architect, Fernand Pouillon, bought what remained of the château and spent more than eight full years restoring the castle before making it his home. After he passed away in 1986, the castle once again began to sleep and fall into disrepair. It was acquired by the armiger in 2005, who turned into a sprawling art gallery and opened to the public. Since then, the relationship between art and architecture has been explored through projects and exhibitions that fann the torch that continues to burn for all of those who would dedicate themselves to giving new life to ancient stones.

The background colors of Tenny (Orange) and Azure (Blue ) represent earth and sky, with Gold representing the sun. Bordeaux was chosen to represent the passion and life within the château.

Registration details

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