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Windmills On The Plains: Vision And Social Memory In Two Dutch Communities In Iowa

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Chapter Summary

One of the significant waves of immigration from the Netherlands to the United States of America in the mid nineteenth century found its way to the state of Iowa, under the leadership of dissident Protestant minister Reverend Hendrik Pieter Scholte (1805-1868), who named his new "kolonie" Pella. As the community grew, an offshoot was established, christened Orange City. Today these two Iowa towns still proudly celebrate their Dutch heritage. Pella and Orange City both register their ethnic roots through many conspicuous visual signs, including the cultivation of geographical landmarks. This chapter aims to familiarize readers with these communities, with a brief review of the histories of their origins. But it focuses initially on windmills and wooden shoes and tulips because they are among the many visible signs through which these communities assert their Dutch heritage. As an art historian, the author's concern is with their visual culture.

Keywords:Dutch heritage; Iowa; Orange City; Pella; United States of America; visual culture; windmills



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