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March 7, 2005
Exhibition on "The American Colony in Jerusalem" Extended to April 2
"The American Colony in Jerusalem" exhibition offers a glimpse into the remarkable history and work of the American Colony in Jerusalem, a Christian utopian society established by Chicago natives Anna and Horatio Spafford and a small group of Americans in 1881. It is on view in the Northwest Pavilion of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., and has just been extended through April 2.
The colony carried out philanthropic work in Jerusalem and gained the trust of the local Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities there. During and immediately after World War I, the American Colony played a critical role in supporting these communities through the deprivations of the eastern front by running soup kitchens, hospitals, orphanages and other charitable ventures. Members of the colony were able to take photographs behind Turkish lines and thereby created a unique record of life under the constraints of war.
The photographs, documents and artifacts on view in the exhibition are from the collection of Mrs. Valentine Vester—a portion of a collection that she has preserved for more than 50 years.
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