GOLD COAST — Almost exactly 100 years after World War I began in Europe, the Newberry Library is partnering with the American Friends of Blérancourt to host a retrospective featuring photographs that document the work of the American Committee for Devastated France.
The traveling exhibition features photos commissioned by Anne Morgan, the daughter of American banker J.P. Morgan, to document the work of the agency she founded to help rebuild France during the war and its aftermath in the early 1900s.
Morgan worked alongside her friends and other volunteers on the front lines, driving ambulances, restocking hospitals and providing other support to soldiers in northern France during and after the war, according to a release from the library.
The showcase, titled "American Women rebuilding France 1917-1924," focuses specifically on the role American women played in supporting the war effort in France.
The images are touring the globe while the Château de Blérancourt — which Morgan helped transform into the Franco-American Museum when she no longer needed it as her agency's headquarters — undergoes construction to build a new wing.
The free exhibition opened Thursday and runs through Jan. 3 in the Herman Dunlap Smith Gallery. It's part of a larger Newberry exhibit titled "Chicago, Europe, and the Great War."
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