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White on White: Churches of Rural New England

Rocky Hill Meeting House, Amesbury, Massachusetts, 1785

White on White: Churches of Rural New England presents forty images representing early churches of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries from photographer Steve Rosenthal. These remarkable small-town, white structures were erected by local builders, joiners, and occasionally by itinerant master carpenters. There were no trained architects or even schools of architecture in America at the time. Their inspiration came from traditional designs and from pattern books. In his photographs, Rosenthal traces the evolution of church styles from the early meetinghouse through the changing patterns of Greek and Gothic revivals.

Rosenthal, a well-known architectural photographer who trained as an architect, has traveled throughout the Northeast capturing what remains of these architectural gems. He began photographing New England Churches in the mid-1960s. The photographs, which appear in this exhibit, are a personal selection taken over the succeeding decades, including images of evocative survivors in the New England landscape.

This exhibit also conveys a preservation story. Several of these churches were restored by their congregations to their original appearance long before the preservation movement took hold in this country. Many others are now threatened by shrinking congregations and high maintenance costs. Some have been damaged by insensitive additions or inappropriate materials. Others have been decommissioned and converted to other uses.

View a selection of photographs from White on White: Churches of Rural New England.


  • 40 black and white archival inkjet photographs printed by the artist
  • Main text label
  • Printed I.D. labels

Fee: $3,500 for a three month-period plus one-way shipping. Please contact us for a full checklist.

White on White: Churches of Rural New England