Cory Anderson


Plain Meetinghouses is a coffee table-style book that explores the artistic angle of Lancaster County, PA’s, Old Order Mennonite meetinghouse architecture, the history of these places, and the religious practices occurring therein. The accompanying text breaks no new ground in scholarship on Old Order Mennonite history and ritual but is an attractive packaging of familiar information. In addition to photos, the book contains helpful, to-the-point narrations providing socio-religious descriptions of these places, helpful because the photos contain no people at what are overtly social places. The book’s contribution, then, is the attractive organization of information, both in photograph and in graphic design. For example, the Old Order Mennonite timeline on pp. 4-5 is easy to read and handsome, with small photos of relevant meetinghouses for each group. [First paragraph]