"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I could not say any other way - things I had no words for" Georgia O'Keefe 1938


500 Years of Historical American Art

For over 500 years, the earliest days of American history has been told through drawings, paintings and textiles. Pencil, charcoal pen, pastels, watercolors, oil and woven fiber.

Such drawings, paintings and textiles are of special importance to early American history because they were created by individuals that had first-hand experiences of significant events of accomplishment and adventures…

The original one-of-a-kind, on the spot drawings and paintings are eyewitness of actual people and real places in a way that written records (by poorly educated people) fall far short. Today, scholars and curators are able to tell a story through carefully assembled objects, that provide unique insight into the earliest years of American & Amish history.

Watercolors were created as a more advanced from of drawing. Some of these artistic works were more formally documented in oil paintings by highly skilled studio artists. With some of these serving as models for mass produced lithographs by the likes of Currier & Ives. Sketches and paintings recorded adventures and native American life, that were brought back to curious Europeans.

The 1750’s saw the arrival of Amish settlements in colony’s, first in Pennsylvania. By the mid-1800’s, much of the native Indian lands had been replaced by white settlements. Daily community life of the early colonial settlers and the subsequent growth of America including the Amish were documented by local artists. These new settlers in America sought and cherished freedom that they did not have much of in Europe.

In the subsequent centuries, America went to war to preserve the American way of life. The Amish have been a different story to understand in their colonization in America. A degree of isolation from populated centers and a peaceful, agrarian life has provided their independence to the present.

Whether battles or recognized expansion, artists & historians have continuously documented these events and the significant people who were associated. We have chosen to continue this tradition of preserving this heritage for the last 50 years in keeping with future generations of Americans.

- Kenneth R. Lawton