Segments in this Video

The Pompidou Center Introduction (04:00)


Rosamond Bernier introduces herself. Most Parisians worry about their health and money, but the controversial architecture of Beaubourg elicits arguments within the local cafes. The Georges Pompidou National Center for Arts and Culture contains a modern art museum, public library, center for music, and AV center, a school for industrial design, and a kindergarten.

Beaubourg (02:32)

Madame Claude Pompidou describes her husband's desire to combine all the city's cultural activities under one roof. Georges Pompidou held an international competition to find the architect. Richard Rogers won the contest.

Hundreds of Competition Entries (03:30)

Phillip Johnson liked the large plaza square in the winning design. The architect created the building a story or two higher than the traditional architecture in the Marais district. Witness some of the entertainment in plaza square.

Marais District (04:57)

Each day, 45,000 people attend the Pompidou center. Richard Rogers describes how Beaubourg has changed the neighborhood. He and Renzo Piano incorporated the functional elements (air conditioning, water, and elevators) on the exterior facade.

Museum Problems (04:13)

Pontus Hulten runs the National Modern Museum of Art at Beaubourg. Art critics discuss how the museum is conventional, shabby, and cramped. Rogers explains the natural disagreement between architects and curators.

Potential Solutions (03:55)

Critics say the National Modern Museum of Art is mediocre. Nick Grimshaw feels that there should be a competition for the position of curator. Thomas B. Hess describes the lack of space between the visitors and artwork.

Accumulating Paintings (04:14)

Hulton focused on acquiring artwork of famous surrealists and constructivists. Madame Kandinsky and Madame Lipschitz donated works of art. Elizabeth C. Baker describes how the building itself now looks dated.

Free Public Access Library (02:22)

Beaubourg contains a library that hosts readings, lectures, and discussions on books. France's budget for libraries is one-seventh the amount of the United States. A large audiovisual section allows visitors to learn a language and watch slides.

Activities for Children (02:04)

Children can read, paint, and climb within the Pompidou Center. Another museum in the building displays advertisements that contain images of the Statue of Liberty.

Transparent Rooms (04:24)

Pierre Boulez heads the Beaubourg Center for Research into New Directions of Music. International musicians incorporate modern technology to explore the music's future. Elliott Carter, an American composer gave the first workshop.

France's National Modern Museum of Art (03:56)

Hulton wants the museum to acquire artwork that spans the entire 20th Century, so earlier art can serve as a foundation. Visitors can learn how Jacques Lipschitz influenced Niki de Saint Phalle. Bernier describes some of Delaunay, Matisse, and Fernand Leger's artwork.

Other Works of Art (04:24)

After the Russian Revolution, Ivan Puni changed his name to Jean Punier. Explore works of art by Georgia Braque, Pablo Picasso, and Sam Frances. Although Jean Dubuffet does not believe in museums, he allowed the French government to purchase a room he created.

Art from the 1960s and 1970s (03:37)

Ben Vautier and Dorothea Tanning created room installation. Explore sculptures by Andy Warhol and Jean Arp located at the National Modern Museum of Art. Roy Lichtenstein composed a still life out of his painting tools.

Outdoor Sculptures (04:47)

"Capricorn" by Max Ernst was the first sculpture placed outside. Hanging gardens will be installed to help ameliorate the conflict between the building's architecture and the sculpture. Art critics explore how to improve the National Modern Museum of Art.

Credits: The Pompidou Center (Beaubourg) Design and Construction (00:24)

Credits: The Pompidou Center (Beaubourg) Design and Construction

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

The Pompidou Center (Beaubourg) Design and Construction

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This program examines the planning, construction, scope, and controversial reception of the Georges Pompidou National Center for Art and Culture in Paris, called Beaubourg from the name of the land it occupies in the old Marais district. Filmed on location, the program explores the building and the public that uses it. Arts writer and lecturer Rosamond Bernier examines the forces that shaped the enterprise and interviews some of the key players. The program includes talks with former presidential wife Madame Pompidou whose husband created Beaubourg; Richard Rogers, the architect who won the international competition for building Beaubourg; Pontus Hulton, director of modern art at Beaubourg which occupies two floors of the building; Thomas Hess, New York Magazine art critic; Elizabeth Baker, Editor of Art in America magazine; architect Philip Johnson who sat on the jury that approved the design, and architect Nick Grimshaw.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL124226

ISBN: 978-1-63521-787-2

Copyright date: ©1977

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.