COLUMBUS – Made By Loving Hands: Amish Children’s Clothing, Toys and Quilts from the Thomas and Marsha French Collection will be on display from April 26 to July 8 at the Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery.
Organized by the Kent State University Museum and curated by Jean Druesedow, “Made By Loving Hands” features Amish children’s articles made from 1870 to 1960. Included in the exhibition are dolls, stuffed animals, toy furniture, quilts, sewing accessories and boys and girls clothing including shirts, trousers, dresses, pinafores, bonnets and stockings.
An opening reception will be held April 26 from 5-7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
The Riffe Gallery will present two special events in conjunction with this exhibition.
There will be a lecture by Dr. Wayne Weaver, a Holmes County physician raised in Amish country May 6 at 2 p.m. Weaver will provide insight into the Amish lifestyle and discuss his memoirs, “Dust Between My Toes: An Amish Boys Journey.” The lecture will be held on the third floor mezzanine of the Vern Riffe Center.
Family Day will be held May 20 from 2-4 p.m. at the Riffe Gallery. Activities for kids and families include traditional Amish crafts and samples of Amish food. The event is free.
This exhibition helps the viewer to understand Amish children as they explore a world free of technology but full of color, free of material wealth but full of imagination, a world defined by the strict discipline of faith tempered by love.
Descended from the Anabaptists of Zurich, Switzerland, who had branched off from the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, the Amish split from the Anabaptist Mennonite group to follow the views of Jacob Ammann.
The Amish beliefs include a strict obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ, the function of church members as accountable to one another and separate from the world, and an ethic of love that rejects violence in all spheres of human interaction.
For Amish children, these beliefs are an immediate influence on their lives. Children begin attending worship at six weeks of age. Attending services helps children develop patience, obedience, humility, and a sense of unity.
The Riffe Gallery is in the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts, State and High Streets, Columbus. Hours are Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For information or to schedule a tour call the Riffe Gallery at 614-644-9624.