Grand re-opening of the Franco-American Museum at Blérancourt
The reopening is an opportunity for the public to discover three new areas of this French museum dedicated to Franco-American friendship, each one highlighting the historical and cultural exchanges of an era.
Initiated in 2014 following a series of archaeological excavations, the renovation works, museum extension and display of the remains were financed by the French State with the support of American patrons – The American Friends of Blérancourt and the Florence Gould Foundation. In light of the significance and quality of the work carried out, this museum is a point of reference for historical and cultural relations between France and the United States.
More information at americanfriendsofblerancourt.org.
From château to museum
In 1917, Anne Morgan, daughter of the American banker JP Morgan, came to stay at Château de Blérancourt, near Noyon, to undertake the work of the American Committee for Devastated France (CARD), a humanitarian organization that was set up to help the civilian population of Aisne, an area which had been badly affected by the devastation and by supply problems during the First World War. After the war, the organization continued its work with a commitment to rebuilding the Picardy region from an economic, educational, social and moral point of view.
Supported from 1923 by "The French Friends of Blérancourt Museum", in 1924 the château became a museum for objects and works of art. Its collections are testament as much to French support for the American War of Independence as to American commitment to the French during the First World War.
In this museum, which has been recreated by Studio Adrien Gardère and Ateliers Yves Lion, visitors are invited on a tour of discovery in three sections – "Ideals", "Ordeals" and "Arts". Each will highlight the historical and cultural exchanges specific to different eras.
Films and audiovisual tools will explore the ordeals which have united the two countries (especially the two World Wars) and also the artistic exchanges between Paris and New York in the 20th century. As well as screens installed in each room, a multimedia guide on digital tablets will enrich the commentary and make the tour interactive.