Mennonite Furniture. A Migrant Tradition, 1766 - 1910
by Janzen, Reinhild Kauenhoven and John M. Janzen
Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1991. Hardbound. VG/VG- in slightly tattered dustjacket. Beige boards. 231 pages, 241 colour and b&w illustrations. 6 Maps. From DJ: The striking pieces of furniture which have come to be identified as Mennonite furniture on the North American Plains point to a much earlier time in the history of furniture making. The story of the Mennonites who settled the North American Plains between the 1870s and the 1920s is the story of a migrant tradition. Repeatedly uprooted from their homes because of political concerns, these Mennonites moved from The Netherlands and North Germany to the Vistula Delta region of Prussia. From Prussia many moved on to South Russia and eventually the Plains states and provinces of North America. They first began building furniture in the Vistula Delta, and their styles and patterns changed very little during a century of life in South Russia. The two items most cherished and most often packed for the trip to North America were the dowry chest and the clock. Many other pieces came with the immigrants in the minds and hands of the craftsmen. However, because of the hardships of pioneer life, this particular furniture-making tradition was almost entirely lost within 50 years. Mennonite Furniture: A Migrant Tradition 1766-1910 tells the story of the Plains Mennonites and their journeys. It recounts the roots of their furniture tradition and documents its connection to life in the Vistula Delta in the late 1700s and early 1800s. It brings the tradition to North America and explains its gradual disappearance. Here, too, are stunning photographs of the pieces preserved, many in the private collections of the original craftsman's family. Many more of the pieces are housed in the museums of North American Plains Mennonite communities.
(Inventory #: 102284)
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