Exhibitions/ Art Object

[Television Broadcasts]

Unknown (American)
ca. 1951
Gelatin silver print
8.9 x 11.4 cm (3 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.)
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1994
Accession Number:
Not on view
These nine photographs of early television programs are drawn from a series of 273 photographs made by an unknown amateur photographer in Dayton, Ohio. The series can be dated 1951-52 by the programs depicted: among others, "Strike it Rich", "Meet the Press", "The Jack Benny Program", "The Ed Sullivan Show (Toast of the Town)", "Kukla, Fran and Ollie", "What’s My Line", "The Howdy Doody Show, and "Zoo Parade."

At the time, television was primarily broadcast live and was still a regional enterprise. Media executives were testing markets while engineers worked to link the country electronically. On November 18, 1951, the two coasts were connected and the TV age was born. Almost immediately, the set became an indispensible piece of domestic furniture -- for some, the regular baby sitter, for others, the Friday night date. On view are: Kukla; a rare bird from Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo; the 1952 Rose Bowl game [Illinois defeated Stanford 40-7]; the Tournament of Roses Queen, Nancy Thorne; Kitty Carlisle Hart; and before a portrait of Enrico Caruso.
Swann Galleries, Inc., October 14, 1992, lot 577; Fraenkel Gallery

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 43," May 9, 2006–August 28, 2006.

Programs include: Strike it Rich, Meet the Press, The Jack Benny Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, What's My Line, The Howdy Doody Show, and Kukla, Fran, and Ollie. Celebrities include: Edgar Bergen, Bob and Ray, Jackie Gleason, Kate Smith, Arthur Godfrey, David Niven, Ezio Pinza, Moss Hart, Harry Truman, and Cecil B. Demille.
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