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Another America: A Testimonial to the Amish by Robert Weingarten

Saturday, February 22, 2014, 12 a.m., Main Galleries

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. 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 Museum 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.