“We can indeed wonder about the place of Islamic art at the Louvre and in Western art collections. In Europe, the Islamic world was, and is, right here at home.”
– Jean-Luc Martinez, Director, Louvre Museum
“It’s a tremendous mix of images, cultures, and the result that came out in the literature and the art of the Islamic world is very exciting.”
– Navina Haidar, Curator Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art
(September 2020 – New York) GREAT MUSEUMS® TELEVISION reports that its most recent documentary film, “The Art of Islam at the Met and the Louvre: Foreign Yet Familiar,” has been released to the French media company, FR24, for distribution on platforms serving France, Europe and the Arab Lands, in English, French and Arabic. FR24’s digital platforms attract over 45 million views monthly. Narrated by Philippe de Montebello, former Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the hour-long HD film showcases works of art that reveal the shared cultural heritage of the Western and Islamic worlds.
Currently airing on public television stations across the United States, Foreign Yet Familiar has met with overwhelmingly positive public television response, airing in over 110 markets, reaching an audience of over 180 million viewers.
Executive Producer Marc Doyle explains Great Museums’ strategy behind the film’s distribution outside of the U.S. via FR24:
“For over 20 years, the Great Museums project has focused primarily on museums that tell the stories connecting America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage. In these times of unprecedented global unrest and change, we expanded the project’s mission to explore and celebrate how the Western and Islamic worlds are intertwined. In collaboration with The Met and The Louvre, whose Islamic art collections are the best in the world, this film reveals the surprising connections between Western and Islamic traditions in Art, Science, and Literature.
Great Museums is honored to partner with FR24 to bring Foreign Yet Familiar to a broad international audience. The Islamic Art collections at The Met and The Louvre dispel the myth that cultures are exclusive when, in fact, they are forever joined together in the ongoing story of civilization.”
About Foreign Yet Familiar
Great Museums’ documentary, The Art of Islam at the Met and the Louvre: Foreign Yet Familiar, highlights the people, the dynasties and the masterworks that comprise the glories of Islamic art. In addition to commentary from museum experts and scholars from both the Met and the Louvre, this film was guided by Philippe de Montebello, who pioneered the creation of the Met’s Islamic galleries during his tenure as Director of the museum.
The masterpieces in the Islamic galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York — and the Louvre in Paris — reveal a roadmap of connections. They explain why the “foreign” seems familiar. The Great Museums film unravels the tangled histories of the Western and Islamic worlds and documents how the art of Islam reflects 14 centuries of changing political and cultural landscapes — across three continents.
Reaching out to the Education Community
In the months leading up to the film’s public television debut, Great Museums partnered with the Met to host a special event for New York City-area educators interested in learning how to integrate teaching Islamic art into their school curriculums. The event included a screening of several segments of the not-yet-released film. Teachers also participated in a panel discussion, a curator-guided tour of the Islamic galleries, and received a complimentary copy of the Met’s Islamic art Curriculum Guide to use in their classrooms.
Great Museums’ social media outreach project used Facebook targeted marketing tools to reach more than 300,000 educators, in various sized U.S. markets. As a result, teachers across the nation engaged with the film, and nearly 5,000 of them clicked through to The Met’s website offerings of free Islamic art classroom teaching tools.
This outreach was made possible through an education grant from the Doris Duke Foundation.
About GREAT MUSEUMS® TELEVISION and THE EUREKA FOUNDATION
Great Museums® is an award-winning television series celebrating America’s museum world, airing coast to coast on over 200 public television stations representing more than 85% of US households. The compelling, educational series has won more than 40 documentary television awards, including Telly Awards, Aurora Excellence Awards and nine Cine Golden Eagles. Great Museums® opens the doors of museums to millions of viewers through public television, new media and community outreach with the goal of “curating a community of learners.” Great Museums® is underwritten by the Eureka Foundation, a private 501(c)(3) foundation established to promote the educational power of television and new media.