Another America: A Testimonial to the Amish by Robert Weingarten

From February 22, 2014 through May 25, 2014 in Special Exhibition Galleries

Amish 10

Robert Weingarten (American, b. 1941). Amish 10, Lancaster County, PA, 2001. Inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist. ©Robert Weingarten

Robert Weingarten spent four years photographing Amish communities in Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. The culmination of this work is Another America: A Testimonial to the Amish, on view from February 22 through May 25 in the Brackett Clark Gallery. Mostly black-and-white, Weingarten's exquisitely composed photographs depict aspects of everyday Amish life—children at play, horse-drawn carriages, laundry on clotheslines—along with pastoral scenes and simple compositions of Amish architecture.

The Amish first came to America from Europe in the early eighteenth century in search of religious freedom. Over the past three hundred years, they have existed outside of mainstream American society, cherishing their peaceful, communitarian, rural life and eschewing modern technology.

The proscription of photography in many Amish communities presents challenges for any photographer or artist attempting to document their way of life. Maintaining a respectful distance, Weingarten photographed from public spaces, but he offers a closely observed view. Deeply sincere and almost reverent in their approach to their subjects, his photographs avoid treating the Amish and their lifestyle as curiosities in the modern world.

Alongside these photographs, Eastman House will exhibit antique Amish quilts on loan from the collection of Deborah Ronnen.

This exhibition is sponsored in part by Gouvernet Arts Fund of The Community Foundation.

In person! Robert Weingarten will give a lecture on his work on Thursday, May 1, at 6 p.m. in the Dryden Theatre. 

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