Photography exhibitions by Robert Weingarten and Pavel Wolberg to open at George Eastman House on February 22

“Another America: A Testimonial to the Amish by Robert Weingarten” and “A World Apart: Photographs of Hasidic Communities in Israel by Pavel Wolberg” on display through May 25

For Release 2014-02-11

George Eastman House will open two exhibitions on February 22 that will be on view through May 25, 2014: Another America: A Testimonial to the Amish by Robert Weingarten and A World Apart: Photographs of Hasidic Communities in Israel by Pavel Wolberg. Another America is the culmination of four years, from 2000 to 2004, Robert Weingarten spent photographing Amish communities in Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. On view at the same time, A World Apart is a selection of eighteen contemporary photographs by Pavel Wolberg.

“Like the Amish, Hasidim live largely apart, though in mostly urban settings, and maintain deep connections with the mores of over two hundred years ago,” said Bruce Barnes, Ron and Donna Fielding Director, George Eastman House. “We chose to display these two very different shows at the same time because there are those subtle parallels that tie them together. Both extremely talented artists have captured the essence of the cultures they’ve photographed.”

Mostly black-and-white, Weingarten’s exquisitely composed photographs in Another America 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 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, 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. These works reveal the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle, but their colors are by no means austere; their bold graphic quality appeals to the modernist eye.

As an outsider invited in, Pavel Wolberg photographed several communities in Israel, where the Hasidic population continues to grow rapidly. In 1999, he stumbled upon a Hasidic wedding ceremony at an event hall in Israel, where he was living and working as a photojournalist. Stepping through the door, he felt himself transported to another world, one in which revelry and reverence played essential roles. He went on to photograph a number of Hasidic rituals and ceremonies over the next decade, producing vibrant images that suggest the complex dynamic between individual and group identity.

In conjunction with Robert Weingarten’s Another America exhibition, the Dryden Theatre will screen Witness (Peter Weir, 1985) on Friday, April 25 at 8 p.m. For more information, visit dryden.eastmanhouse.org.

Both exhibitions are included with museum admission. For more information, please visit eastmanhouse.org or call (585) 271-3361.

About George Eastman House

George Eastman House holds unparalleled collections, totaling more than four million objects, of photographs, motion pictures, cameras and technology, and photographically illustrated books. Established as an independent non-profit institution in 1947, it is the world’s oldest photography museum and third largest film archive in the United States. The museum is in Rochester, NY, and includes the National Historic Landmark house and gardens of George Eastman, the philanthropist and father of popular photography and motion picture film. Learn more at eastmanhouse.org.

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