The centennial of the start of World War I is marked with a special exhibition at Newberry Library (Chicago). American Women Rebuilding France, 1917-1924 documents the work of hundreds of American women who volunteered humanitarian service in France during and after the War. The exhibition features vintage photographs and rare silent film footage showing the women in their day to day work, for example: at the wheels of Ford trucks, directing the reconstruction of buildings, staffing a network of visiting nurses, libraries and kindergartens, organizing sports and scouting activities, rebuilding social ties. The women were led by Anne Morgan, daughter of J. P. Morgan who commissioned the photography and filming to document the destruction of World War I. The items on display are drawn from the collections of the Franco-American Museum, Château de Blérancourt, in Picardy (France) which is today a French national museum devoted to the history of collaborations between the United States and France.
(Picture: Newberry Library. "Baking resumes after the war, Mons-en-Laonnois, 1919"; Franco-American Museum, Château de Blérancourt.)