“These are not barns of calendar art or sofa-size paintings, but the real, if increasingly scare buildings of wood, hay, and animals. It will be scholarship of this value that helps preserve some of the remaining barns for our continued edification.”
For many, the barn is the symbol of the Midwestern United States. It represents tangible wealth, solid citizenship, industry, stability, and other agrarian values associated with its conservative, Anglo-Saxon settlers.
Editors Noble and Wilhelm set out to examine these stereotypes. European settlement of the Midwest, though primarily English and German, was never homogenous and the character of the Midwest barn reflects this. As this collection shows, these barns draw on a rich blend of materials, values, and technologies from the Old World and the New, while at the same time leaving their identifiable mark on the American landscape.