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The Folk Craft Center - Amish Photography

 

About Mel Horst Photography

Mel Horst, Photographer of the Amish

All photographs copyright Melvin J. Horst. These are registered
copyrights. They are placed here for your viewing pleasure, and
informational purposes only and may not be used without permission.

Mel Horst, Photographer of the Amish

A native Lancaster Countian, Mel Horst has been photographing the Amish since 1948.

Ever sensitive to Amish reticence about photography, Horst has approached his projects with an eye to recording the Amish as a culture rather than as a tourist curiosity. His fluency in the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect has enabled him to photograph scenes that would not have been possible for an outsider.

Horst began his career as a professional freelance photographer in 1957. Prior to that he worked four years as a photographer for Armstrong World Industries. Drafted into the Army, he spent two years as a military photographer. He then used the GI Bill to attend Albright College in Reading, PA, graduated in 1957 with a degree in history.

In addition to photography, Horst founded Applied Arts Publishers, which has produced a series of 40 pictorial booklets on antiques, folk art, and the Pennsylvania Dutch.

He also developed and operated the Folk Craft Center complex in the village of Witmer. During its 38 years of operation, Horst's attraction featured his collection of antiques, tools, folk art, and furniture in an authentic village setting, with working craftspersons, gardens, and restored 18th and 19th century buildings.

Often appearing in those buildings was Jakey Budderschnip, the photographer's alter ego and most entertaining enterprise. Jakey is a never-ending lode of Pennsylvania Dutch folk tales and humor whose wit and country manners get him invited to more than 100 appearances every year. Jakey has appeared all over the East Coast. He was an established presence at the annual Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Festival and often featured on the morning program on WIOV-FM radio in Ephrata.

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  Folk Craft Center Office
1 Sunrise Drive
Lititz, PA 17543
Phone: 717-500-1881
E-mail: info@folkcraftcenter.com