Mennonite Village Photography: Views from Manitoba 1890-1940
Winner of the 2021 Manitoba Day Awards
Featured here is the work of four young Mennonite photographers from villages in southern Manitoba at the turn of the twentieth century. With the fresh optimism and audacity of youth, they captured a unique period in the history of Mennonite life in western Canada.
For all four men, photography was a bold hobby, inviting the admiration of some and the consternation of others who discouraged such flirtations with modernity. The delicate glass and film negatives that these men left behind - some recovered from dusty barns - reveal that the photographers were experimenting with the art of photography through movement, flash lighting, double exposures, humour, spontaneous shots, and choreographed composition.
More than a century after these photographs were taken, the worlds they feature appear fleeting. These rare photographs are tangible remnants of the Manitoba Mennonite experience in the early twentieth century.
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