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October 7, 2011

Israeli Photographer Sharon Ya’ari to Discuss the American Colony in Jerusalem

Award-winning Israeli photographer Sharon Ya’ari will present a lecture titled "A Public Family Album: The American Colony in Jerusalem, 1898-1946." Founded in 1881 in Jerusalem by a small group of Americans, the American Colony was a Christian utopian society whose philanthropic work continued up until the late 1940s.

The lecture will be held at the Library of Congress at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 18 in the African and Middle Eastern Division Reading Room, located in the Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. Sponsored jointly by the Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division and the Prints and Photographs Division, the event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.

In his talk, Ya’ari will showcase the G. Eric and Edith Matson Collection in the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division, which contains negatives produced by the American Colony Photo Department and its successor, the Matson Photo Service. These images document people, places and events in the Middle East from the last years of the Ottoman Empire, through World War I, the British Mandate period, World War II and the emergence of the State of Israel.

Widely recognized for his cutting-edge photography and keen aesthetic sensibility, Sharon Ya’ari is the recipient of numerous awards, including most recently the 2010 Constantiner Photography Award, Tel Aviv Museum of Art. His work graces the collections of such institutions as the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Jewish Museum in New York and has been widely exhibited at major cultural venues across Europe and the United States.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.

The African and Middle Eastern Division is the center for the study of some 78 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East to Central Asia. The division’s Hebraic Section is one of the world’s foremost centers for the study of Hebrew and Yiddish materials. For more information on the division and its holdings, visit www.loc.gov/rr/amed/.

The Prints and Photographs Division contains photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings. While international in scope, the collections are particularly rich in materials produced in, or documenting the history of, the United States and the lives, interests and achievements of the American people. The online catalog, which provides access through group or item records to a vast majority of the division’s holdings, can be accessed at www.loc.gov/pictures/.

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PR 11-195
10/07/11
ISSN 0731-3527

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