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USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College to host ‘American Women Rebuilding France, 1917-1924’ exhibition in collaboration with American Friends of Blérancourt August 28 - September 22

a photo from the exhibit

The University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College will host the photo exhibition “American Women Rebuilding France, 1917-1924,” featuring Anne Morgan and the 350 American women who helped rebuild France in the wake of WWI. The exhibit, which will be displayed in the Atrium Gallery on USM’s Lewiston-Auburn campus, will open on August 28 and run through September 22, 2017, featuring 29 WWI-era photographs and silent film footage that illustrate the extraordinary work undertaken to help the civilian population in Picardy, in northeastern France. 

The leader of this historic effort was Anne Morgan, daughter of financier John Pierpont (J.P.) Morgan, who dedicated her life to humanitarian causes. She and her volunteers helped feed the hungry population, brought back livestock, planted crops, rebuilt homes and provided necessary services for the children of the region.

This 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. It has been shown at more than 14 previous locations, including galleries, historical societies, universities, several venues of the Alliance Française and elsewhere across the U.S. The photographs come from the Anne Morgan Archives at the Franco-American Museum, Château de Blérancourt, with the support of American Friends of Blérancourt and the Florence Gould Foundation.

An opening reception will take place at the Atrium Gallery on Thursday, August 31 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm. Miles Morgan of the Morgan family will be in attendance and Doris Belisle-Bonneau, President of the Franco-American Collection Board of Directors will be honored by receiving the Order of Merit, French Government award at the reception.

The exhibit is presented in partnership with The Franco-American Collection and USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College, with the support of the American Friends of Blérancourt, the Florence Gould Foundation and the French Consulate in Boston.

American Women Rebuilding France, opening reception:
Thursday, August 31st, 5:00–7:00 p.m.
University of Southern Maine LAC Atrium Gallery
51 Westminster Street, Lewiston, ME 04240

American Friends of Blérancourt (AFB) is an American philanthropic group based in New York. It was created in 1985 to support and promote the Franco-American Museum, Château de Blérancourt in Picardy. Anne Morgan founded the museum in 1931 out of the destruction of World War I, celebrating the triumph of French-American friendship and solidarity. Learn more about the AFB here.

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