Mia Gröndahl: The Dream of Jerusalem – Lewis Larsson and the American Colony Photographers

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In the summer of 1896 men, women, and children left the village of Nås in Sweden and traveled to Jerusalem to await the Second Coming of Christ. They became part of the American Colony – a nonconformist religious sect led by American Mrs Anna Spafford.

The Dream of Jerusalem – Lewis Larsson and the American Coloy Photographers not only provides a depiction of the Swedish emigration and how religious dreams were crushed by harsh reality, but also represents rectification of formerly misrepresented photo history. The successful career of American Colony Photographers Lewis (Hol Lars) Larsson is told here for the first time. His development as a photographer began as a student to the founder of the photo group, the eccentric Bombay Jew and convert to Christianity, Elijah Meyers, then as leading photographer along with his slightly older colleague, American Furman Baldwin. Finally he became head photographer of the group between 1910–30, with a staff of young Swedes as his assistants. Under the collective name of American Colony Photographers they created one of the world’s finest collections of photographs from Palestine and the Middle-East of that time.

Title of the Swedish edition: Drömmen om Jerusalem – Lewis Larsson och American Colony Photographers.

Mia Gröndahl works as writer, journalist and photographer. 

320 b/w and hand-colored images • Compilation and editing of photographs and illustrations: Gösta Flemming, Mia Gröndahl • Translation: Peter Hogan • Proof reading: Dan Hallett • Editor: Gösta Flemming • Layout and design: Gösta Flemming, Martin Högström • Hard cover with dust jacket • 215 x 270 mm • 302 pages • Two editions: English and Swedish • 2005

Honourable mention by the jury for Swedish Book Art 2005 at the National Library of Sweden.

Honourable mention by the jury for the Swedish Photobook Award 2007.