Mennonite Village Photography: A Marvelous New Book and Exhibit!

Andrew and I just got home from visiting the Gallery in the Park in Altona! We’ve been here before, but the Gallery was not open at the time.

THIS time we knew what we were doing.

THIS time we were making the little Sunday afternoon drive to visit the exhibit and purchase a copy of the newly released book Mennonite Village Photography: Views From Manitoba 1890-1940. The book, which was just published in June, and exhibit were put together by the Mennonite Historic Arts Committee.

This book, which would look fabulous on any coffee table, features the work of four amateur photographers whose parents were part of the first wave of Mennonite immigration to Manitoba in the 1870s: Peter H. Klippenstein, Johann E. Funk, Peter G. Hamm, and Heinrich D. Fast.

Many of these photographs offer candid glimpses into regular Manitoba Mennonite village life in the 1910s and 1920s — the time before my grandparents were even born.

I also appreciate that two of the photographers are from the West Reserve, and two are from the East Reserve, so the collection is balanced in this way.

The photographs are fascinating and I really appreciated being able to see them on a large scale in the exhibit … as well as being able to take them home in the book! If you have a chance, try to do both!

Here are a few photos from our visit to Gallery in the Park:

Check out that backdrop. This is the actual backdrop used by Peter. G. Hamm in many of the photos in the book and exhibit. It’s set up so you can pose for a picture in front of it! I asked a kind fellow Gallery-goer to take our photo for us.

The book is available in Altona or can be purchased online here.