Friday, February 26, 2010

Austin Museum Partnership Launches 2010 Passport

As a member of the Austin Museum Partnership (AMP), the French Legation is happy to announce an exciting new sponsorship with Austin's Pizza that launches March 1st, the AMP Passport Program. Visitors pick up a Passport at 24 participating AMP sites or any Austin's Pizza locations. Visitors go to at least seven participating AMP sites to earn stamps and then redeem the Passport at any Austin's Pizza to receive a FREE 14 inch pizza. The Program will run from March 2010 to February 2011. For more information visit the AMP website, AMP encourages all to explore the unique cultural, heritage, and nature sites in the Austin area.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What's Wrong with Flash Photography?

We receive a lot of questions about our ban on flash photography in the historic home and kitchen. Here's some information from the National Archives regarding the cumulative damage to its paper collection due to flash photography exposure... so please remember that museum collections (from paper to paint to textiles) are delicate and deserve our protection. If you're unsure about your camera and its automatic flash functions, please don't use it!

Press Release
January 26, 2010
National Archives Announces New Ban on Photography

Washington, DC…On January 25, 2010, the National Archives announced in the Federal Register that filming, photographing, and videotaping by the public will be prohibited in all exhibition areas in the National Archives Building, Washington, DC, beginning February 25, 2010. The primary impetus for the new regulation was concern that the Charters of Freedom (the Declaration, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights) and other original documents on display in the National Archives Experience were at risk from exposure to flash photography.

The announcement followed a lengthy period of internal analysis and discussion and a 60-day comment period in which the public was invited to offer input. In spite of a more than 30-year-old regulation explicitly stating that flash photography was prohibited, prominent signs stating the policy throughout the exhibition areas, and security guards reminding the public, Archives staff estimated that the documents were subjected to approximately 50,000 flashes a year. While enforcement of this policy has always been a National Archives priority, new cameras with automatic flash have made the policy almost impossible to enforce.

The original documents displayed in the National Archives Experience are fragile and subject to fading from light. The National Archives must balance its commitment to making these founding documents available to the public with its mandate to preserve and protect them for future generations. Years of research and testing by top scientists have resulted in state-of-the-art encasements to protect the Charters of Freedom. Environmental recommendations and guidelines that include careful temperature and humidity controls, light levels below three foot candles, and light filters to remove ultraviolet radiation are closely adhered to in order to provide additional protection for our nation’s heritage.

After close examination of the policy and consultation with National Archives preservation experts, the Archives determined that barring photography in the exhibition areas would help protect our nation’s heritage for future generations.

Visitors who want an image of the Charters of Freedom or other original documents on display in the National Archives Experience may download them at no cost from, visit the Resource Room adjacent to the Exhibition Hall for a free color copy, or visit the Archives Shop.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

sxsw 2010 preview

The Latest on Thursday 3/18 & Friday 3/19 Lawn Party (Other Music/Dig For Fire):
Over 20 Bands on 2 Stages
Free Shows, 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm
French Legation Museum
Acts scheduled to appear include: The xx, Thurston Moore, Real Estate, Dam-Funk, The Antlers, and more... (check Dig For Fire on MySpace for updates)

The Latest on Saturday 3/20 Garden Party (Press Here):
Free Show, 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
French Legation Museum
...details forthcoming!

Friendly reminder for all sxsw visitors--- walk or ride, try not to drive! The French Legation Museum is located in a historic residential neighborhood near downtown Austin. There will be VERY LIMITED parking available. Be prepared to walk, bike, take a pedi-cab, hop on the bus, or share a taxi!

It's Snowing Here, Too!

We love our Central Texas weather! Here's a peek at today's snow event:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Water Assessment Project Update 1

FEBRUARY 11, 2010. Task One of the FLM Water Assessment Project is underway. Architect John Volz and structural engineers from Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. are spending the day visually assessing and documenting the roof, wall, and floor framing of the historic house to determine the scope of structural repairs needed.
They are looking for current conditions, damage from ground water moisture, rain water leaks, and other areas for conservation/preservation.

This project was made possible by a generous grant from the Native Texan License Plate Fund. This fund provides grant opportunities to historic sites in Texas.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

FLM Receives Grant Funding for Carriage House

Thanks to generous grants from the Georgia B. Lucas Foundation Fund of the Austin Community Foundation for the Capital Area and the Native Texas License Plate Funds, the French Legation Museum's Carriage House will receive much-needed help.

The old cedar roof will be replaced and the exterior stairs will be repaired. These long-awaited projects could not have been realized without grant funding. The French Legation Museum is grateful to both granting agencies for their generosity in making these grant funds available to historic sites like the French Legation Museum.

Veranda Gets a Facelift

Thanks to a generous donation from the The Charles & Betti Saunders Foundation, the French Legation Museum's Historic House has new veranda furniture for all to enjoy. These high-quality rockers and table are similar in design to the two rockers that Miss Lillie Robertson kept on the veranda (as shown in historical photographs).

The Robertsons were also known to have an old pew from Saint David's Episcopal Church on the veranda. They were given the pew from the original church building, which they helped found in the 1840s, after new pews were aquired for the permanent church.

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