Is Fraktur American?

Is fraktur an American folk art or an imported European one? One could say “yes” or “no” to either proposition and successfully defend the position. As Don Yoder puts it, fraktur has “roots in the arts of Switzerland and the Rhine Valley but it blossomed and developed in new directions in America. Here it came to form an even more basic part of everyday culture” (Yoder, 1989). The roots were systematically explored by Donald Shelley, beginning with his 1938 research trip to the Rhineland, Alsace and Switzerland where he found “many types of fraktur work. These…reveal almost all the types and techniques which appear later in Pennsylvania but [they are] not as numerous” (Shelley, 1961, p. 24).

goettelbrief
Photo: Etienne Pommois.

The American Taufschein follows this pattern in that it seems to have developed from the related European Patenbrief or Taufzettel but changed to meet American needs, both in terms of data provided and response to contemporary folk art expectations. Yoder points out, for example, the need for recorded birth information to confirm citizenship in the new land (Yoder, European background, 2001, p. 34). This illustration is of an Alsatien Goettelsbrief, often presented to baptized children by godparents, and also cited as an antecedent of the Taufschein (Weiser, Piety and Protocol, 1973).

Free Library of Philadelphia.
Free Library of Philadelphia.

Swank points out that the fraktur movement in America coincides with a similar flourishing of folk art in Europe. He notes, however, that the American environment guaranteed differences from European folk art because of the strength of Pietistic Protestantism, relative isolation from urban influences and weaker presence of Catholicism (Swank p. viii). Thus, fraktur shows clear roots in European folk art but a history of change and adaptation to the American cultural environment.

In the course of the nineteenth century, fraktur showed more characteristics of mainstream and patriotic imagery. The Taufschein shown here features an American eagle, complete with arrows and olive branch.

144 thoughts on “Is Fraktur American?

  1. Pingback: ivermectol 12
  2. Pingback: Anonymous
  3. Pingback: ivermectin buy
  4. Pingback: ivermectin buy
  5. Pingback: order tadalafil
  6. Pingback: cialis20mgr.quest
  7. Pingback: hims sildenafil
  8. Pingback: levitra vs cialis
  9. Pingback: generic name
  10. Pingback: cialis dosis
  11. Pingback: covid pill merck
  12. Pingback: cialis generique
  13. Pingback: cialis alternative
  14. Pingback: prednisone
  15. Pingback: viagra precio
  16. Pingback: generic for cialis
  17. Pingback: ivermectin use
  18. Pingback: tadalafil liquid
  19. Pingback: buy cialis online
  20. Pingback: tadalafil liquid
  21. Pingback: lasix 120 mg daily
  22. Pingback: buying ivermectin
  23. Pingback: ivermectin 50ml
  24. Pingback: cialis generic
  25. Pingback: ivermectin buy
  26. Pingback: ivermectin india
  27. Pingback: ivermectin cena
  28. Pingback: psy-
  29. Pingback: projectio
  30. Pingback: psy online
  31. Pingback: Gz92uNNH
  32. Pingback: do-posle-psihologa
  33. Pingback: uels ukrain
  34. Pingback: bahis siteleri
  35. Pingback: DPTPtNqS
  36. Pingback: qQ8KZZE6
  37. Pingback: D6tuzANh
  38. Pingback: SHKALA TONOV
  39. Pingback: chelovek-iz-90-h
  40. Pingback: tor-lyubov-i-grom
  41. Pingback: film-tor-2022
  42. Pingback: hd-tor-2022
  43. Pingback: hdorg2.ru
  44. Pingback: order stromectol
  45. Pingback: JXNhGmmt
  46. Pingback: Psikholog
  47. Pingback: netstate.ru
  48. Pingback: Link
  49. Pingback: psy
  50. Pingback: bit.ly
  51. Pingback: cleantalkorg2.ru
  52. Pingback: 1indexes
  53. Pingback: bucha killings
  54. Pingback: War in Ukraine
  55. Pingback: Ukraine
  56. Pingback: site

Comments are closed.