Couple Under an Arbor, ca. 1800
"Fraktur" is a type of folk art that was popular among the Pennsylvania Germans
in the mid 1700's through the mid 1800's. Rich in history,
it was created by farmers and peasants to document important dates,
and passed down through the generations. It featured Bible verses, poems, bookplates,
and commemorations of life's special events such as marriages,
anniversaries, house blessings, births and baptisms.
Its decorative lettering was embellished with whimsical hearts, flowers, birds and angels.
After researching fraktur, Dennis Stephan became passionate about it and he set about using his
artistic talents to replicate pieces, preserving and honoring this form of manuscript folk art.
Here are two examples of personalized fraktur which Dennis creates upon request,
and then a few of his hand-drawn replicas that I've selected to share with you.
Swan with Fish. ca. 1810, Pennsylvania.
Frederick II, King of Prussia, ca. 1770, in the manner of Johannes Mayer. Bucks Co., PA.
Vorschrift writing sample with birds and tulips.
Vase of Flowers, Southeastern Pennsylvania
Peafowl, Ca. 1791-1804, Engraver Artist - Pennsylvania
See more at the Stephan Folk Art website.
Images used with direct permission from Dennis Stephan.