THE MORGAN TO PRESENT EXHIBITION OF RARE PHOTOGRAPHS AND SILENT FILM FOOTAGE DOCUMENTING THE FIRST WORLD WAR’S IMPACT ON FRANCE
WORK WAS USED BY AMERICAN WOMEN VOLUNTEERS TO RAISE FUNDS TO HELP THE STRICKEN COUNTRY RECOVER
Anne Morgan’s War: Rebuilding Devastated France, 1917–1924 Opens September 3
This remarkable exhibition brings to life the extraordinary work undertaken by a small team of American women volunteers who left comfortable lives in the United States to devote themselves to relief work in France during and after World War I. Their dynamic leader was Anne Morgan (1873–1952), a daughter of the financier Pierpont Morgan. As she rallied potential volunteers and donors on speaking tours across the United States, Morgan harnessed the power of documentary photography to foster a humanitarian response to the plight of French refugees. Anne Morgan’s War: Rebuilding Devastated France, 1917–1924 is on view from September 3 through November 21, 2010.
With haunting views of ruined French towns, portraits of refugees, and tableaux of American volunteers at work, the exhibition explores not only the human cost of war but also the potency of photographic propaganda and the influence of women’s activism. The show traces the fieldwork of the American Committee for Devastated France, the volunteer civilian relief organization that Morgan created with her friend Anne Murray Dike (1879–1929). Morgan, with her commanding presence and social prominence, took the lead in fundraising efforts, while Dike, trained as a physician, organized activities in the field.