Friends of Blerencourt
Louis Stern Fine Arts is pleased to present
American Women Rebuilding France, 1917 - 1924
July 15 - August 5, 2017
2017 represents the centennial of America’s entry into World War I, known as the Great War, and the first active U.S. support of Allied Nations at war. This was a major step for American armed forces and the U.S., which changed its diplomatic strategy from neutral to active participation abroad to end conflicts, a role the U.S. continues to play today.
This war is known as the “forgotten war” because it is little known by Americans, and yet it changed the world forever and was pivotal for French-American relations.
More than 4,000,000 American families sent their sons and daughters to serve in uniform during the Great War.
More than 116,000 U.S. soldiers gave their lives in combat. Another 200,000 were wounded, a casualty rate far greater than in World War II.
More than 350,000 African-Americans served in the U.S. military, as did Native Americans and members of other minority groups. And, for the first time, women joined the ranks of the U.S. armed forces.
Out of the devastation of the war came the creation of hundreds of U.S. volunteer organizations, among them the American Red Cross, the American Field Service, and the American Committee for Devastated France, headed by Anne Morgan, daughter of JP Morgan. Over a period of seven years, under the powerful leadership of Anne Morgan, more than 350 American women volunteers went to Picardy, France to rebuild the region and bring aid to the French citizens still remaining.
This photo exhibition, American Women Rebuilding France 1917-1924 is from the Anne Morgan archives at the Franco-American Museum, Château de Blérancout in Picardy, France. These images were initially created to raise funds to support the efforts of CARD (Comité Américain pou les Régions Dévastées). Miss Morgan used the latest technologies of photography and film, hiring such notable artists as Harry B. Lachman, to present to the American people the reality of the urgent need for aid for French civilians following the war. Lachman was an expatriate living in Paris at the time studying painting, but his work for CARD brought him recognition as a photographer and filmmaker. Many of the images in the exhibition are his, along with the black-and-white footage.
American Friends of Blérancourt is proud to honor these amazing American women whose love of France and humanity represent the generous spirit of our country and the bond which ties us still today to France.