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February 27, 2012


Radio: Ouvrez Grand Vos Oreilles – A New Exhibition

by soundlandscapes

I AM OLD ENOUGH TO remember the ‘Golden Age’ of radio, the days when radio was more popular than television and many years before the internet and social media took control of our lives. I was then, and still am, a huge fan of radio.

In conjunction with Radio France and l’Institut national de l’audiovisuel, the Musée des arts et metiers celebrates the history of radio broadcasting in a new exhibition opening tomorrow.

Radio: Ouvrez Grand Vos Oreilles! or, roughly translated, Radio: Listen Up! is a fascinating exhibition which, as the name suggests, is as much about listening as seeing.  As well as the collection of documents, domestic radio receivers and sound recorders, including a wonderful collection of Nagra field recorders, the history of radio is also told with archive sounds.

Some of the archive sounds at the exhibition:

French radio grew from very humble beginnings. At Christmas in 1921, an early radio enthusiast huddled round a homemade crystal set may have been lucky enough to detect a signal transmitted from the Tour Eiffel. In the ninety years since then, radio has evolved to embrace changes in technology, changes in society, political upheavals and even war.

In today’s multimedia world, radio still holds its place in broadcasting information, culture and public debate.  Long may it continue!

Radio: Ouvrez Grand Vos Oreilles! runs from 28th February to 2nd September 2012.

Here are some of the exhibits on show:

And here is the collection of Nagras:

A Nagra II (1953)

From L to R: Nagra III (1963) Nagra SN (1970) Nagra E (1985)

Nagra E (1985)

Nagra ARES C

Nagra ARES


The exhibition is at :

Musée Arts et Métiers, 60, rue Réaumur; 75003 Paris: Tel: 01 53 01 82 00

Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday inclusive from 10 h to 18 h. Thursday 10 h to 21 h 30

Closed: Mondays and 1st May.

Tickets: 5,50 euros; Reduced Tarif : 3,50 euros

Nearest Métro: Arts-et-Metiers (Lines 3 & 11) or Réaumur-Sébastopol (Line 4)

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Feb 27 2012

    French ? English ? American ? I don’t know but I take my courage and write in English. Only to say thank you for this interesting information. This could be one of my aims.
    Good evening.

  2. Feb 27 2012

    Thank you! I am English, but writing in French is good for me if you find that easier. You should go to this exhibition if you can. It’s simply fascinating. The people in the Musée des Arts et Métiers are friendly and very enthusiastic so they will tell you everything you need to know. And, there is a very good café across the street where you can relax after your trip.

    • Feb 28 2012

      I am very interesting in this kind of exhibition. I don’t have the time for the moment but I saw it will still existing in August during my holydays. I am from Paris and I know well this district of Réaumur/Sébastopol. I like evrything that has to do with the History. So, thank you for your post even if I would have the information anyway. What’s the name of the café ? 😉
      Je vous souhaite une agréable journée. A bientôt peut-être.

      • Mar 4 2012

        I think the café is called Arts et Métiers. It’s directly across the street from the Musée in front on the Métro.

      • Mar 4 2012

        Have a nice sunday.

  3. Mar 3 2012

    Ah, so lucky to have access to exhibitions like this one. Beyond the importance of broadcasting your post has also emphasised the aesthetic quality of the radio as a collectible object.

  4. Apr 11 2012

    love the way the Nagra ARES looks!

    great audio recordings by the way. I am in Paris. which I love 😉

  5. Jun 12 2012

    i`m very interesting in this kind of exhibition. I don’t have the time for the moment but I saw it will still existing in August during my holidays.

    • Jun 12 2012

      Yes, the exhibition runs until 2nd September. It’s well worth a visit if you can make it.


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