The Barn Raisers, a new documentary by Mid-America Emmy® nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films, will premiere on the Putnam Museum’s National Geographic Giant Screen, 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport, Iowa on Saturday, January 28 with festivities beginning at 5:30 p.m. Music by the Quad City-based Barley House Band is featured in the film and they will perform live at the premiere. Q&A with the filmmakers and other film participants will follow the documentary screening. Advanced tickets are recommended at Putnam.org/Calendar. Putnam.org/Calendar.
The Barley House Band will perform at The Barn Raisers premiere beginning at 5:45pm. Their music is featured in the film.
The Barn Raisers, a companion film to the Rundles’ Emmy® nominated historical documentary Country School: One Room – One Nation, tells the story of barns in the Midwest by examining them through the lens of architecture. The film explores what building methods, barn styles, and materials tell us about the people who built them, the life they lived, and the role these “country cathedrals” played in the settling and building of the Nation.
Rudy Christian, Traditional Timber Framer and Barn Preservationist. Friends of Ohio Barns.
“How could we create something from practically nothing with just a handful of tools and no drawings? The answer is in the barns,” said Rudy Christian, a traditional timber framer and barn preservationist from Burbank, Ohio.
Barns were constructed by farmer-craftsmen, professional builders who traveled from job to job, and even architects like Frank Lloyd Wright. The Barn Raisers paints a cinematic portrait of barns and builders, an important way of life that has been largely forgotten, and the film reminds us that these remnants from America’s rural past are still here to be interpreted and experienced.
“I see old barns as documents,” said architectural historian Marlin Ingalls of the Office of the State Archaeologist in Iowa City. “There’s no other thing on the landscape that gives that sense of connection to history and agricultural activities of a bygone era.”
Numerous Iowa barns appear in the film, including John and Marlene Penne’s Nebergall “Knoll Crest” Round Barn located in Scott County. The 1914 barn was designed and built by architect Benton Steele.
The Luxembourg village of St. Donatus in Jackson County, Iowa is home to the Gehlen Barn, one of Iowa’s oldest structures.
“These barns are a part of the history of American immigration,” said artist Jeremy Marlow, who owns the Marlow-Saak Barn located in Waukon, Iowa and featured on the film’s poster. “It’s really sad to see these things fall down at an alarming rate.” It is estimated that Iowa loses over 1,000 barns annually.
In addition to Iowa, The Barn Raisers was shot in Kansas, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The Barn Raisers was partially funded by grants Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area, Humanities Iowa, the Kansas Humanities Council, the Michigan Barn Preservation Network, the Ohio Humanities Council, the National Barn Alliance/Russ & Lu Ann Mawby, and the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the Moline Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Jackson County. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this documentary film and program do not necessarily reflect those of the these organizations.
Fiscal sponsors for the project are Kansas Public Telecommunications Service, Inc., the Kansas Barn Alliance, Friends of Ohio Barns, Richland County Historical Society and the Jackson County Iowa Historical Society.
The Rundles are the producers of the regional Emmy® nominated historical documentaries Country School: One Room – One Nation, River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6, and Letters Home to Hero Street (co-produced with WQPT-PBS).