Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Alliance Française Of Philadelphia To Exhibit Remarkable WWI Photos And Film Collection Of American Women Rebuilding France, 1917-1924

An Exhibition of Remarkable WWI-Era Photos and Film footage from 1917 to 1924 –
May 2 Reception and Talk by J.P. Morgan relative

The Alliance Française of Philadelphia, 1420 Walnut Street, 7th floor, Philadelphia, PA 19102, is hosting the exhibition AMERICAN WOMEN REBUILDING FRANCE, 1917-1924, from the
Anne Morgan Archives of the Franco-American Museum, Château de Blérancourt, France with the support of American Friends of Blérancourt and the Florence Gould Foundation. The opening tour of the exhibit is at 5:30 PM on Friday, May 2, 2014, followed by a talk by Miles Morgan, grand-nephew of J.P. Morgan, and refreshments at the Land Title Building, 100th South Broad Street,10th floor. The Exhibition
will be open from April 28-May 12, 2014.

The exhibition consists of reproductions of WWI-era photographs and rare silent film footage that bring to life the extraordinary work undertaken between 1917 and 1924 by 350 American women—all volunteers—who left comfortable lives in the United States to help the war-ravaged civilian population in Picardy, in northeastern France. The dynamic leader of this effort was Anne Morgan, daughter of financier J. Pierpont Morgan. A “modern woman” well ahead of her time, Anne Morgan commissioned professional photographers to document the devastation in France: their work, which is shown here, was used in fundraising for the war efforts and for stimulating volunteerism. Anne Morgan went on to found the American Committee for Devastated France (CARD), which was focused on reconstruction. The volunteers helped with agriculture, livestock, providing health care and supplies, educating the children, teaching families home economics and actual re-building of war-torn areas. This special traveling exhibition originated at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City in 2010, and was then displayed at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City. Since then numerous cultural centers, galleries, historical societies and libraries in various American cities have shown the exhibition and many more have scheduled it for the next few years. During this WWI Centennial year, commemorations of the “Great War” are taking place nation-wide, enabling Americans to better understand its profound significance to this day. “AMERICAN WOMEN REBUILDING FRANCE” powerfully shows what it meant in real human terms. This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Florence Gould Foundation, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, and RMN l’Agence Photographique de France.

 THE FRANCO-AMERICAN MUSEUM, CHÂTEAU DE BLÉRANCOURT is a unique French national museum located in Picardy, a region in northeastern France. It was created in 1931 out of the destruction of World War I and the triumph of French-American solidarity. Its founder: Anne Morgan, a daughter of the well-known financier J.P. Morgan. Anne Morgan spearheaded aid and later reconstruction efforts in the region.

From the beginning the museum was the repository of one-of-a-kind historical documents attesting to this special relationship. In addition, it is the only museum dedicated to French-American relations The Franco-American Museum has also kept acquiring artwork by great artists focused either on French painters who chose American subjects or Americans who were trained or inspired by France. Thanks in part to the American Friends of Blérancourt’s success in fundraising, the Museum has been able to expand in size, adding sumptuous gardens and a brand new educational annex, and will reopen in 2016.

THE ALLIANCE FRANCAISE OF PHILADELPHIA  Since its founding in 1903, the Philadelphia Chapter of the Alliance Française  (nonprofit) has encouraged the study of the French language and literature, promoted French culture and fostered friendly relations between France and the United States with a uniquely Philadelphia touch, style and tradition.

The Alliance Française school has two campuses (Center City Philadelphia and Bryn Mawr College), a faculty of more than twenty and a yearly registration of 1500 students. The school offers a wide variety of courses designed to meet the needs of all students, from complete beginners to those who are fluent in French and want to further their conversational and/or grammatical skills as well as their knowledge of French civilization and culture.
AMERICAN FRIENDS OF BLERANCOURT (AFB) is an American philanthropic group based in New York with an office in Paris. It was created in 1985 at the suggestion of the Chief Curator of Paintings at the Louvre Museum (Pierre Rosenberg) to raise funds for the expansion, the gardens, and the new educational programs and technology of the Franco-American Museum, Château de Blérancourt in Picardy.

The founder and chairman, Mary-Sargent d’Anglejan-Chatillon, and president, Eugénie Anglès, have worked with a motivated membership to expand and make known a unique museum that celebrates four centuries of French-American friendship. AFB offers a variety of activities to its members including trips to private chateaux
in France and visits to private art collections and gardens in France and other countries, an annual gala dinner in New York, a traveling exhibition of historic photos and films from the Museum’s archives, and a student exchange program. For the Centennial Year observances, AFB has organized a unique guided tour of the major WWI sites around Paris and in northern France in October 2014.  

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