My OBT

What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Repost: November-Through-OktoberFest

8 Comments

Engel Marie Meier, Schaumburg, 2011. ©Eric Schuett

6/16/15: In rural parts of Germany and Alsace, there are still small pockets of peasant women who keep to the traditional dress with which they were raised. German photographer Eric Schuett hunts down these woman and takes their portraits. I find them utterly fascinating.

Okay, no, they don’t look too happy. But while it doesn’t seem to give them much joy, you have to respect them for their commitment. It’s a bit sad to imagine this generation dying out with no replacement in sight. (Or maybe they’re bummed because when you search Amazon for “traditional German dress,” this is what comes up.) I’m being a jerk. I know. But if they didn’t so strongly resemble well-known actors in drag, I would have a much easier time being an adult about this. (Here’s a fun game: Can you spot Bob Hoskins, Sir Michael Gambon, and Tom Wilkinson?)

Schuett has actually gone through quite a bit of research to find them, and by all accounts, he’s quite kind to them. It truly does seem to be a labor of love, no matter what their faces say.

“Since he began the project, many of the women Schuett encountered have passed away. It’s not nostalgia for days past but a reverence for the women themselves that motivates the photographer to continue to tell their stories. Life for women could be difficult in more traditional times, and he strives not to romanticize but simply to remember and to record their histories. For the most part, he concludes, they were no different than anyone else, save for an aura of contentment that surrounded their homes. Their lives, he suggests, seemed well-lived.” –FeatureShoot.com

At any rate, I find these dour portraits very satisfying. What do you think?

You can follow Erik Schuett on his website.

Emma Krahl, Lusatia, 2010

Emma Krahl, Lusatia, 2010. ©Eric Schuett

Anna Schaefer, Schaumburg, 2010. ©Eric Schuett

Anna Schaefer, Schaumburg, 2010. ©Eric Schuett

Agnes Schuster, Katolische Lausitz ©Eric Schuett

Agnes Schuster, Katolische Lausitz ©Eric Schuett

Gertrude Lesch, Hesse, 2014. ©Eric Schuett

Gertrude Lesch, Hesse, 2014. ©Eric Schuett

Anna Pawelczyk, Schaumburg, 2010. ©Eric Schuett

Anna Pawelczyk, Schaumburg, 2010. ©Eric Schuett

Maria Drummer, Franken, 2012. ©Eric Schuett

Maria Drummer, Franken, 2012. ©Eric Schuett

Anna Katharina Haber, Hesse, 2014. ©Eric Schuett

Anna Katharina Haber, Hesse, 2014. ©Eric Schuett

Anna Katharina Suessmann in mourning garb, Hesse, 2011. ©Eric Schuett

Anna Katharina Suessmann in mourning garb, Hesse, 2011. ©Eric Schuett

Marie Meier - Schamburger Land. ©Eric Schuett

Marie Meier – Schamburger Land. ©Eric Schuett

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

8 thoughts on “Repost: November-Through-OktoberFest

  1. I still have wonderful memories from my young youth and my grandmother, who raised me after my mother died at age 3. She had the clothes and the cooking from her mother, my great grandmother. All of that is gone today. But in those days there was no home television. No Internet. No ATMs, no commercial airplanes. Yes a very long list. Yes, I have the memories but I have no desire to go back in time and live that life ever again. Keep in mind that age 60 was very old in those days and not many lived past it. Thanks Donna for letting me enjoy the memories today. Hal

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  2. These are such lovely portraits. Looking at the dates they were taken, most if not all of these women are gone. I wonder if they have any relatives that would see these photographs and want them. They are wonderful.

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  3. In the family photos my mother had, many of my older relatives looked unhappy. I think that was the style of picture taking in the past. These women are rocking that look while wearing beautiful clothing.

    Liked by 2 people

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