The Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Admission is $5, with discounts for groups, seniors and children.
Decorated and Plain: A Mennonite and Amish Sampler
Known as Plain People, 19th century Amish and Mennonites in Lancaster County had a love of beauty shown in practical, handcrafted objects that were made to be used.
Experience 300 years of Mennonite and Amish life and culture through our collection of the finest handicrafts and works of art, some never displayed before. See the material beauty and simplicity wrought by Lancaster County's "plain people" in antique furniture, one-of-a-kind fraktur, handcrafted needlework, quilts and clothing.
The exhibit is organized around themes of home, land, church and school. "People of Heart and Home" displays household artifacts created and used by Mennonite and Amish artisans. "People of Faith" presents a representative meetinghouse layout of the late 1800's as well as a homemade casket and burial clothes. "People of the Land" focuses on the Mennonite and Amish agricultural heritage, including a sampling of original, historic tools.
The exhibits below were previously on display at the museum.
Menno Simons: Image, Art, and Identity
April 1-October 28, 2000
Featured 30 original portraits of Menno Simons from 17th to 19th centuries, illustrative of hunted dissenter, pious saint, learned scholar; issues and principles of his teachings and writings; works of fine art made by and for Dutch Mennonites from 17th to 19th centuries; varied ways Mennonites in North America and the Netherlands have used name and identity of Menno in past century.
A Sense of Place and Time: Growing Up Mennonite
April 3-October 31, 1999
Series of large and small heritage-related art works on family, religious, and cultural roots by Mennonites artist Abner Hershberger, Goshen, Indiana; explored the boundaries between Mennonite communal life and the secular world; artist attempted to remain honest to a personal aesthetic, pay homage to a nurturing community, and explore a visual arena that was both symbolic and spiritual.
The Gift of Hope
November 1, 1996-March 8, 1997
Celebrated through objects, stories, and photographs the ministry of Mennonite Central Committee, worldwide relief and service organization that commemorated its 75th anniversary; told how ordinary persons have helped those hurting in a troubled world; designed to raise personal questions as well as broad issues of public policy.
Mirror of the Martyrs
January 6-August 7, 1993
Recalled the drama of people, obedient to Crown and Church, torturing and killing people who claimed a higher obedience to Jesus Christ; based on Martyrs Mirror images from nine copper plate engravings of 16th-century Anabaptism. Is it practical to love one’s enemies? Why did good people resist authority? Why do the powerful fear the weak? What beliefs are worth dying for? Why do modern governments continue to torture and kill people?
History Mystery Tour
Educational, inspirational, intergenerational tour with exhibits. Informative, designed to show persons behind public scenes of the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society. Entertaining, with participants solving a mystery as tour unfolds.