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Alumni

An Understanding Eye

January-February 2004

The thrill Amanda Lumry '99 felt when she inspected her first roll of pictures in second grade has never changed: "I still marvel," she says, "at how much power a camera wields in conveying perspectives, opinions, and emotions."

Amanda Lumry is a lifelong photographer.
Courtesy of Amanda Lumry

Although she began Harvard intending to focus on economics and business, she soon realized that art and photography remained her passions. An independent study in her junior year produced Nantucket Borders, a self-published, visual and textual exploration of the island. A year later, with the help of her faculty advisers, Christopher D. Killip and Barbara Norfleet, she published her second book, Mala Mala: Pathway to an African Eden, as part of her senior honors thesis.

To publish Nantucket Borders, Lumry combined business and art and began Vista Press, her own publishing firm. Vista has since become Eaglemont Press, and Lumry has married a fellow photographer, Loren Wengerd. Together they have shaped Eaglemont to specialize in educational photography books about travel and conservation, with some of the proceeds benefiting cultural and conservation-oriented foundations in the areas described by the books.

Lumry's most recent endeavor, Holmespun, offers an intimate look at Amish and Mennonite communities of northern Ohio. She and Wengard shot candids and portraits of the people and landscapes of Holmes County, where he grew up, in collaboration with writer Laura Hurwitz. Holmespun aims to present what Wengerd calls a unique perspective: explaining "who the Amish are today, beyond the idyllic quaintness often found in other books" and including the "challenge to maintain their heritage and culture" facing the communities it documents with local history, images, and interviews.

To Lumry, Wengerd's standing as a Holmes County native and her own "outsider's perspective" brought "a fresh sense of wonderment to what Loren would otherwise consider normal and mundane. Together we were able to create a well-rounded perspective." Promoting such awareness and understanding "can only have a positive impact on the uncertain future that is racing toward us all."

~Ellenor J. Honig