Picturing Utopia: Bertha Shambaugh and the Amana Photographers

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9780877456995: Picturing Utopia: Bertha Shambaugh and the Amana Photographers
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More than 100 years ago, Bertha Shambaugh set out to photograph the Amana Colonies - the religious community 20 miles northwest of Iowa city. This work aims to celebrate their artistic vision and offers a glimpse into a 19th-century religious utopia.

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About the Author:

Abigail Foerstner has written hundreds of articles on art and photography for the Chicago Tribune, North Shore magazine, and other publications. She lives with her family in Wilmette, Illinois. Her great uncle, William Foerstner, was one of the Amana photographers whose work is included in the book. While researching this project, Foerstner helped to recover more than a thousand glass plates and other photographic negatives now preserved at the Museum of Amana History.

Review:

"A wonderful book and a fascinating story. Abigail Foerstner recovers an important piece of heretofore lost American photographic history." -- John Wood, author of America and the Daguerreotype

"A wonderful selection of photographs and an insightful account of one of America's great utopian societies. All those interested in photography and American history will find this book an invaluable addition to their library." -- Sylvia Wolf, Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art

"Like a time machine, the photographs in Picturing Utopia carry us back to a wondrous Iowa experiment in creating a kinder, more spiritual way of life. I recommend this book to all who are overwhelmed by the complexities of modern-day living." -- Jon Anderson, Chicago Tribune

"This is a gem of a book. It is not only rare documentation of a nineteenth-century religious utopia but one of the heart as well. . . . Thanks to Abigail Foerstner and the prescience of those few photographers, like Bertha Shambaugh, with their cumbersome glass plate cameras, we are able to be in the presence of the Amanas once again. Take time to look carefully at these photographs, for they afford us the opportunity of a continuing dialogue; an insight into the lives of a community which strove to achieve an ideal and harmonious way of life, something so evidently in disarray today." -- David Plowden

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780877459583: Picturing Utopia: Bertha Shambaugh and the Amana Photographers (Bur Oak Book)

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ISBN 10:  0877459584 ISBN 13:  9780877459583
Publisher: University Of Iowa Press, 2005
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