THE DREAM OF JERUSALEM – Lewis Larsson and the American Colony Photographers


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 the Lord. They became part of the American Colony ? a nonconformist religious sect led by American Mrs Ann Spafford.

The Dream of Jerusalem 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 excentric Bombay Jew and convert to Christianity, Elijah Meyers, then as leading photographer along with his slightly older colleague, American Furman Baldwin. Finally Lewis Larsson became head photographer of the group between 1910-1930, 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.

The Dream of Jerusalem is also a fascinating visual account with over 320 photographs.