Rest in Peace, Ana Gabriela Da Silva Araujo Bonnet, who passed away peacefully last week in Tangier. Ana Gabriela was a fifth generation “Tangerina” — her great-great grandfather Felix A Matthews served as the US Consul in Tangier in the 19th century. This lovely photograph by Tessa Codrington of Ana Gabriela in front of a … Read more RIP Ana Gabriela Da Silva Araujo Bonnet (1930-2020)
A rare treasure — in 2018, then-100 years old famed interior designer, Battle of the Bulge veteran, and dear friend Charles Sevigny (1918-2019) revisited the Legation’s retrospective in his honor, which turned into an impromptu tour guided by the artist himself! Film by Ayoub El Jamal, special thanks to Jamie Creel and Marco Scarani for their support with Charles’ unforgettable visit.
Let’s please make this our most shared video ever!
By Lawrence Peskin, AIMS Fellow/Morgan State University Most discussions of the U.S. presence in Tangier do not really go back before 1821. This is readily understandable. Everyone wants to know about the interzone years and the fascinating flock of “accidentals” (Elena Prentice’s term) who arrived here in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Additionally, … Read more My Search for the First American Consulate and the Original Mount Washington
In anticipation of our 2021 Bicentennial year, we added in 2019 to our Museum a “Peace Corps-ner” display honoring the different contributions made by a previous occupant of the Legation, the United States Peace Corps, whose volunteers and Moroccan staff, under the leadership of then Morocco Peace Corps Director Richard Holbrooke (diplomat and Negotiator of the … Read more Peace “Corps-ner” Display at the Legation
Retired U.S. Foreign Service Office Harland Eastman served as Consul-General in Tangier in 1976, the year that the Department of State agreed to allow the Tangier American Legation to be converted into a private museum honoring the historic U.S.-Moroccan friendship. In this podcast, Emily Albrecht of Dartmouth College interviews Mr. Eastman, who recounts the enormous efforts made to restore the Legation in time for the celebrations of the U.S. Bicentennial. Ms. Albrecht’s interviews form part of a series of oral histories she recorded for her senior honors thesis, entitled, “Mapping Memories, Creating History: The Tangier American Legation” (May 2016).
Section II, “Architectural and Historical Context and Significance” of the of the Historic Structure Report on the American Legation in Tangier, Morocco is now available on Archnet. You can find it by going to the the page for TALIM and selecting the link above the description labeled “Publication.”
This section of the report explains the historical and architectural significance of the structure, beginning with a general diplomatic history of Tangier. It then provides a functional and architectural history of the Legation building, including the modifications to the building, starting when the United States and Morocco first began negotiations, through the acquisition of Legation in 1821, damage to the property during bombardments of Tangier, expansions by the consul in the 1920s, the role of the Legation during World War II, and finally the conversion into a museum in 1975-1976. Finally it ends with an assessment of the current condition of the property. It is illustrated with historic images and plans.
Well, I do have to stop – we’re getting on the ferry to Spain Friday morning! Friends have joked that I’ll still be at it tomorrow morning, mounting yet more exhibits while my wife waits in the car. Not true; I stopped this afternoon.
At the French Consulate’s 14 Juillet reception after we arrived in 2010, a Moroccan friend introduced me as the “nouveau conservateur” in what people in Tangier only knew then as the “Musée de l’Ancienne Légation Américaine.” I joked that I was no conservative… I was a Democrat!
But the point is that conservateur or curator was the way people thought of this position in this city. I thought that was a bit limiting – how about our research library? Our seminars? The Arabic literacy program? Etc. I also didn’t like that ancienne thing – made it sound like we were closed.
He found our doors closed. Disappointment all around – we were so looking forward, as the Pecks were, to a trip down memory lane. Since the visit unfortunately didn’t happen, here’s a virtual tour of the Legation in photos (featuring some Legation exhibits that have just been opened), along with Ambassador Peck’s narrative of his return to Tangier.
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One of the first six students who attended FSI’s Arabic Language School in the old Legation building when it opened in 1961, I was both pleasantly surprised and extremely impressed by the view of Tangier from the sea as our ship arrived on May Day 2014.