FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 3, 2004

The Museum of Television & Radio Announces A Donation of Programming and Funding from Francetelevisions and INA to Further Museum’s French Collection

New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA—The Museum of Television & Radio announced today a generous donation of programs along with funding to catalog the programs from Francetelevisions and the Institut National De L'Audiovisuel (INA), as part of an initiative by the Museum to further develop its singular collection of French television and radio programming. The donation to the Museum's French Collection will include over 100 hours of public television programs that represent the quality and diversity of French programming over the past fifty years, including news, documentary, arts, drama, children's, and sports. The French Collection, which reflects the Museum's overall efforts to develop various international collections, is permanently available to visitors of the Museum at each of its locations in New York and Los Angeles. These collections serve as important resources for understanding and appreciating the history, perspectives, politics, and media of countries around the world. International programs at the Museum currently include material from Australia, Canada, China, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, among others.   

"The French Collection furthers the Museum's goal of preserving the best and most significant radio and television programming from around the world and making it accessible to the public," said Frank A. Bennack, Jr., chairman of The Museum of Television & Radio. "We are grateful to Francetelevisions and INA for their generous donations and for helping advance the Museum's efforts to collect international material." 

According to Ron Simon, television curator for The Museum of Television & Radio, "The Museum has been working with French producers and production companies over the last fifteen years to build a collection of French television from Babar to Jean Cocteau to Peugeot ads. This donation from Francetelevisions and INA will allow the Museum to further document the history of French television and its landmark programs." 

The Donation

The donation from Francetelevisions and INA will provide a unique window on how French television has reported some of the major historical events of the post-World War II era, including the 1968 student uprisings and the Vietnam and Gulf Wars, as well as the presidencies of Charles De Gaulle and François Mitterand. This donation includes some of the country's acclaimed arts programming, including dramatic productions of Cyrano de Bergerac (1960) and Moliere's Don Juan (1965), as well as a rare performance by Maria Callas. In addition, many of France's popular personalities are profiled or seen in performance, notably Yves Montand, Charles Trenet, Maurice Chevalier, and Serge Gainsbourg, while documentary subjects include Colette, Jean-Luc Godard, and Yves Saint Laurent. 

The donation also gives insights on how the French have perceived the United States over several decades, beginning with a report on Ernest Hemingway's years in Paris. Among the areas covered are the 1988 presidential elections; profiles of such cultural New York figures as Elia Kazan and Susan Sontag; and conversations with two iconic and, at one time, controversial Americans, Jane Fonda and Muhammad Ali. A diverse group of American musicians are also captured in performance, including Isaac Stern, Jimi Hendrix, and the Velvet Underground. In addition, the collection features extended coverage of September 11, 2001.   

The Museum of Television & Radio

The Museum of Television & Radio, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, is a nonprofit organization founded by William S. Paley to collect and preserve television and radio programs and advertisements and to make them available to the public. Since opening in 1976, the Museum has organized exhibitions, screening and listening series, seminars, and education classes to showcase its collection of over 100,000 television and radio programs and advertisements. Programs in the Museum's permanent collection are selected for their artistic, cultural, and historic significance. 

International programs at the Museum currently include material from Australia, Canada, China, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, among others. Through the Museum's International Council, a worldwide forum of leading international media and communications executives, the Museum has been able to extend its institutional reach in order to greatly expand the collection; broaden the subjects of its exhibitions; add breadth and depth to its educational seminars and courses; and develop an ability for the Museum to share programming from other countries with our national audiences. 

Francetelevisions

Established in the early 1990s, Francetelevisions is the holding company of French Public Television, which comprises France 2, a general audience channel; France 3, a national network based on regional news and programming; and France 5, an educational daytime television network. Francetelevisions is the main public television group in France, reaching more than 40 percent of the population.

Institut National De L'Audiovisuel (INA)

INA, Institut National de L'Audiovisuel, established in 1975, is responsible for maintaining the heritage of  French public radio and television, which includes 1.5 million hours of programs. INA, a national public institution based in Paris, holds the archives of French public television dating back to the first newscasts from 1949.


The Museum of Television & Radio in New York, located at 25 West 52 Street in Manhattan, is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 6:00 p.m. and until 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays. The Museum of Television & Radio in California, located at 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, is open Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m. Both Museums are closed on New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Suggested contribution: Members free; $10.00 for adults; $8.00 for senior citizens and students; and $5.00 for children under fourteen. Admission is free in Los Angeles. The public areas in both Museums are accessible to wheelchairs, and assisted listening devices are available. Programs are subject to change. You may call the Museum in New York at (212) 621-6800, or in Los Angeles at (310) 786-1000. Visit the Museum's website at www.mtr.org.

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