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Greenwich Group Hosts Talk On How American Women Helped To Rebuild France

Elaine Uzan Leary
Elaine Uzan Leary Photo Credit: Contributed

GREENWICH, Conn. – Elaine Uzan Leary will present a program on Nov. 18 at the Greenwich Historical Society based on the travelling exhibition, "American Women Rebuilding France 1917-1924."

The talk will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. and will be followed by a short Q&A session at the Greenwich Historical Society, Vanderbilt Education Center, 39 Strickland Road, Cos Cob.

Her talk will focus on the role Anne Morgan (the youngest daughter of financier J.P. Morgan) in rebuilding war-torn Picardie, France, through her establishment of CARD (Comité Américain pour les Régions Dévastées).

At the time of CARD's creation, the region was devastated after years of continuous conflict. Food, shelter and basic medical services were almost nonexistent. With Morgan as the catalyst, by 1923, more than 350 American women had responded and had left their homes to come to the aid of the French in their country's reconstruction.

Leary will share original photographs of the era from the Anne Morgan archives of the Franco-American Museum, Chateau of Blérancourt in Picardy, France, many commissioned by Morgan.

Leary was born in Auburn, Maine, of a Franco-American family and educated in a bilingual community. She graduated from Stetson University, Université de Strasbourg, France; Middlebury College Graduate School; the Chambre de Commerce in Paris; and Emerson College Graduate Studies in Boston. She co-founded and taught at the school of the Alliance Française and co-founded and served as lead actress for the Theatre Compagnie Bernard Uzan in Boston.

She is currently executive director of the American Friends of Blérancourt, which supports the Franco-American Museum, Chateau de Blérancourt in Picardie, France.

Leary's lecture is cosponsored by the Greenwich Historical Society and Alliance Française and is held in conjunction with the Historical Society's exhibition “Greenwich Faces The Great War” at the Storehouse Gallery.

The exhibition features images, artifacts and documents that illustrate the diverse experiences of Greenwich's military personnel, volunteers and civilians before and during World War I.

Exhibition hours are noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. For more information, visit www.greenwichhistory.org .

Buy advance tickets (members: $10; nonmembers: $15) at www.greenwichhistory.org or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

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