Amish Punk Books

amish punk OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Both images courtesy The Library Company of Philadelphia

Eighteenth and early nineteenth century Pennsylvania German Wood Board Bindings often resemble Gothic bindings. They often have thick wooden boards, bosses, center pieces, corner pieces, and clasps.  These bindings also share design elements with other Amish and Mennonite folk art traditions, including Fractur, needlework, carving, etc….  The books pictured above, however, with their studded spine straps and covers, look more like a punk rock wristband or studded motorcycle jacket.  Although Amish and punk culture may be at opposite ends of the spectrum, both embrace a locus of identity outside of mainstream culture and use their distinctive clothing styles to visually represent this.

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4 thoughts on “Amish Punk Books

  1. chelame

    Fantastic! Great comparison really. And excellent images. Looking forward to seeing what folks do with these at PBI this year…

  2. Michael Chrisman

    Thanks for posting this photo Jeff! I have over a dozen of these bindings in my PA Dutch collection, and have been making these “Punk” bindings (in replica) since 1990!! ~ Michael Chrisman

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