Thursday, May 10, 2018

Folk Art from the Winterthur Museum

The Winterthur Museum in Delaware's Brandywine Valley has an amazing collection of Fraktur, that is, drawings on paper by Pennsylvania Germans. I found this one on pinterest with no source and eventually traced it back to Winterthur, which started me on this project. It is by Bernhard Misson, a fraktur artist and schoolmaster who taught in Bucks County. It dates to 1800-1825.

A work by the "Rockhill Artist," 1830-1850.

A baptismal certificate from 1798. Here you can really see that this tradition draws on medieval art, especially in the faces of the lions and the birds at the bottom. I suppose the influence came from church painting rather than manuscripts.

Anonymous, 1820-1840. I don't love the human figures in this naive style, and of course a lot of it is Christian and very didactic. But I love the color, the animals, and the abstract forms.

This is not fraktur but a fabric drawing, made with swatches of cloth, but obviously in the same tradition.

Not a tame unicorn. 1795-1830. Notice what the artist has done with the heraldic family tree.

Anonymous, 1800-1820. Many, many more in the museum's online collection.

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