The New Yorker magazine has published a neat selection of Amish and Hutterite photos from the collection of German photographer Timm Rautert. What makes these photos so striking is that they are from 1974. This was a time when the Amish were still a largely agrarian society and the outside world, while interested in the Amish, weren't dissecting them in the media, writing about them on websites, and playing their lives out on reality TV shows like today. This had to have been a very placid time during Amish history and I get nostalgic seeing the photos. In the first photo, the downcast eyes of children averting the camera...that is a scene that simply would not play out in Lancaster County today. It looks to me like in the second photo there is a sign nailed to a tree that actually says "no photography"...my eyes aren't the best even with glasses, can someone else confirm that? If that is the case, it's quite striking. You just wouldn't see a sign like that posted today, the Amish have a much more pragmatic view of photography today even though many still have religious objections. Perhaps the people in that house had heard that Rautert was in town and that was their way of warding him off, or maybe it was a home on a main tourist route so they felt the need for such a sign. The Hutterite photos are also amazing. This is a group that has just recently begun to gain more attention in America. Take a look at this wonderful selection of photographs here.
About Kevin Williams
Hi, my name is Kevin Williams and I am owner of Oasis Newsfeatures and editor of The Amish Cook newspaper column.