I’ve learned that there is a special exhibition at the High Library at Elizabethtown College, featuring the Amish photos of Dennis Hughes. You may have seen some of his many excellent photos in books such as Amish Enterprise and The Riddle of Amish Culture. The exhibition runs through the end of this week (through December 10), so this could be a nice opportunity if you are able to make it:

Amish Life in Focus: The Dennis L. Hughes Photographs of the Amish

In 2014, East Petersburg, Pennsylvania photographer Dennis L. Hughes donated his collection of over 18,000 images of Amish life and culture to Elizabethtown College’s Hess Archives and Special Collections. The collection features images of Amish communities throughout the United States with a special emphasis on the Amish of Lancaster County. Amish Life in Focus showcases a selection of recently digitized materials from the Hughes collection and an oral history interview with Hughes. Curated by Emily Erdlen ’23 and Archivist Rachel Grove Rohrbaugh, the exhibition was funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Sample images, the exhibit panels, and the oral history video can be viewed online at https://jayscholar.etown.edu/exhibit/hughes-photographs-of-the-amish/. The oral history video is also available to stream on YouTube.

Here’s the video with Dennis Hughes discussing his photography and experiences with the Amish – in Lancaster County as well as in other places including Indiana, Florida, and Nebraska Amish in central PA:

The curators have shared several sample photos which I’ve included on this page. Here’s one more neat one – Amishmen playing a table shuffleboard game with some Plain Mennonites looking on. Going by the look of the photo and the truck in the background I would guess this dates to late 80s/early 90s? Dennis Hughes actually discusses this photo in the video and how it came about.
The exhibition will also be shown again next year to coincide with the Amish conference in June. The exhibition dates will be May 23 – August 4, 2022.
Amish-made cheese


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