Frye Art Museum
photo by Jill Berarducci
Kristin Capp: Hutterite Photographs
What began in 1994 as a photographic journey by photographer Kristin Capp to Soap Lake, a small town in Eastern Washington, ended with a unique collection of black and white images that reveal one of this country's more unusual communities: the Hutterites. Capp's photographs are on display at the Frye Art Museum Oct. 8 through Dec. 5, 1999. A public preview will be held Thurs., Oct. 7 at 6 pm where visitors can meet the artist before she gives a lecture at 7 pm entitled Gesturing Grace - Photographing Inside the Hutterite Community. (left: Carol with Cabbages, Lamona colony, Washington, 1994, photograph)
Capp (b. 1964) discovered the Hutterites unexpectedly during an exploration of a Washington canyon. Four Hutterite communities exist in Washington, following a spiritual path rooted in 16th-century Protestantism. Capp was quickly mesmerized by the quiet stoicism of these communal farmers who speak an archaic German dialect among themselves and wear antiquated dress.
Capp's images go beyond documentation: her camera places the viewer in a position not meant to be comfortable. The uneasy edge in the photos is the view of an outsider looking in.
An angel statue in a cemetery, women in clean, white blouses and braided hair, communal dining halls, and the long shadow of Capp stretching across a Hutterite field allow us a sneak look into the lives of a quiet, strong people.
The exhibition is documented by an illustrated book, Hutterite: A World of Grace (published by Edition Stemmle), available in the museum store.
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