Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Fuller French

Fort Worth, TX

Starting at the age of seven with stamps, coins and lead soldiers, Fuller French discovered early the joy of building a collection of rare materials. The value of a discerning eye, the importance of careful research, and the consequences of improper care were all lessons learned while accumulating these treasured childhood collections.

After graduating from The Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, a lifelong love of books led him to the rare bookshops in Austin while a student at The University of Texas. Within several years he had put together an impressive collection of first editions of his favorite authors, which is still at the heart of his personal library today.

After college French moved to Los Angeles where he realized his calling was to the rarified world of art dealing: specifically, popular culture materials. He instinctively understood the meaning and power of cultural ephemera and its significance to Americans’ shared experiences. Items such as movie costumes, props from old TV shows or posters from movies, never intended to last, could emotionally connect people to each other like nothing else. He also realized that much of this irreplaceable material was regrettably destined for the trash bin. At the dawn of a new collecting field, French co-founded the Hollywood Memorabilia division of the Los Angeles auction house Butterfield and Butterfield where he brought to the company an awareness of the appeal of the material and an astute eye for its authentication. After learning the nuts and bolts of the auction business, he moved on to the building of his archives and eventually the pursuit of his most special interest: Founding and directing The American Radio and Television Script Library.

Born in Midland, Fuller now lives in Fort Worth with his wife and three fabulous children. He also serves on the boards of The Fort Worth Symphony and The Van Cliburn Foundation.

 

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