In 1732 a baker & religious mystic was banished from Germany and fled to Pennsylvania’s forested wilderness, intent on living a hermit’s life of contemplation and prayer. Instead, like-minded men and women soon joined him and they ended up creating a place of peace and artistic beauty. The pacifist community became a haven for artistic outpourings including illuminated manuscripts, a particularly intricate form of choral music, an active printing press, other arts and crafts, and acts of charity in the community. They ran a school for children of farmers, and nursed 500 seriously wounded soldiers from the 1777 Battle of Brandywine, sent to the Cloister by George Washington for care.
I was captivated by the dignity of the Cloister buildings and the sunlight through the old glass windows. This is a peaceful and at the same time slightly eerie place, worlds away from modern life, and I concentrated on communicating the atmosphere with my photographs.
© Joel Anderson Photography