Category Archives: American Colony

Through the American Colony Lens: THE COLOSSAL STONES OF BAALBEK

Here’s a photo that sort of jumped out at me a while back, it was so striking: a great quarry stone at the ancient site of Baalbek in Lebanon. Look at the people, look at the scale! This stone, which was … Continue reading

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Through the American Colony Lens: A BRIEF WINDOW TO ANTIQUITY

The American Colony photographers were often documenting sites of biblical importance, at least the traditional places as they were then understood and being presented to pilgrims and tourists. They also captured on film, whether intentionally or more by chance, things … Continue reading

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Through the American Colony Lens: GRAF ZEPPELIN OVER JERUSALEM

The view here is looking eastward across the Old City, the vantage point a rooftop, or perhaps the city wall, in the Christian Quarter. The large gray dome (bottom) is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; beyond that the distinctive … Continue reading

Posted in American Colony, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, For FUN (mostly), JERUSALEM, Modern History, Photography | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Through the American Colony Lens: ONE MAN’S GIFT TO JERUSALEM

The subject of this American Colony photograph is a seemingly undistinguished public building in West Jerusalem, newly erected in the late 1920s. While the architecture is not that interesting in itself, the life and contributions of the man behind it … Continue reading

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When Sorrows Like Sea Billows Roll: Horatio’s Hymn Revisited

It is amazing how many Protestant and Evangelical Christians in the West are acquainted with the name Horatio Gates Spafford, and especially the story of how, spurred by a profound personal tragedy, he penned the words of the much-loved, inspirational hymn “It … Continue reading

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Through the American Colony Lens: A TREE FIT FOR A PRINCE

I FIRST ENCOUNTERED this image while helping with a publication project of American Colony/Eric Matson photographs several years ago. Asked to write background notes for hundreds of Jerusalem pictures, I at first could only scratch my head over this one, … Continue reading

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Through the American Colony Lens: PHOTOGRAPHERS AT WORK

Among the 22,000-plus images of the U.S. Library of Congress’ Matson Collection, only a handful actually show the Colony’s Photo Department personnel at their craft. The reason is simple: They were usually right where they were supposed  to be–behind the camera, or … Continue reading

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