Although their religion discouraged individualism and prohibited prideful behavior, Amish and Mennonite women in depression-era Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, nevertheless found opportunities for self-expression in their households and gardens. Their culture emphasized conformity, hard work, and large families, but Amish and conservative Mennonite women discovered paths of self-expression within these boundaries. Their circumstances did not allow them to paint portraits or create sculptures, but they found means of expression in their prescribed roles as farm producers, mothers, and homemakers. The quilts that Amish and Mennonite women constructed to keep their families warm were also objects of beauty. The flowers and produce they raised and arranged attractively at farmers markets brought in needed cash for their families but also created aesthetically appealing tableaux that customers and visiting photographers admired. While the women and their families did not label these creations “works of art,” these products of women’s labor nonetheless represented creative achievement.
Bring to Class:
Online via Zoom, link will be sent via email prior to the class
Registration Cutoff Date: