Starting at the age of seven with stamps, coins and lead soldiers, Mr. French discovered early the joy of building a collection of rare materials. The value of a discerning eye, the importance of careful research, and the consequences of improper care were all lessons learned while accumulating these treasured childhood collections.
A lifelong love of books led him to the rare bookshops in Austin while he was a student at The University of Texas. Within several years he had put together an impressive collection of first editions of his favorite authors, which is still at the heart of his personal library today.
After college he moved to Los Angeles with a focus on a career in the music industry. After a few years in Hollywood he realized his calling was not to the music business but instead to the more rarified world of art dealing: specifically, popular culture materials. He instinctively understood the meaning and power of cultural ephemera and its significance to Americans' shared experiences. Items such as movie costumes, props from old TV shows, or posters from old movies, never intended to last, could emotionally connect people to each other like nothing else. He also realized that much of this irreplaceable material was regrettably destined for the trash bin.
At that time he met James Comisar, a young, ex-TV writer with similar interests in the preservation of America's pop culture. He and Mr. Comisar, who would eventually become the head of The Museum of Television, the world's largest archive of television sets, props and costumes, worked together to start the Hollywood Memorabilia division of the Los Angeles auction house Butterfield and Butterfield. Mr. French brought to the company a keen awareness of the appeal of the material and an astute eye for its authentication. After learning the nuts and bolts of the auction business, he moved on to the building of his archives and eventually the pursuit of his most special interest: The American Radio and Television Script Library, the archives of The TV Hall of Fame. Since 2001 Mr. French has worked exclusively on the development of The Library.
Fuller has worked closely with James Comisar over many years. Mr. Comisar has collected over 10,000 sets, costumes, props, and memorabilia from many of the TV shows that make up Fuller's archive. We are in discussions with Mr. Comisar concerning various ways to join forces for the benefit of our audiences and patrons.