Art Making Activity: Make Your Own Fraktur

What is a Fraktur?

The term fraktur is used to describe a wide variety of folk-art documents, as well as the distinctive, angular letter style that is central to it. In the late 18th and 19th centuries, the vast influx of immigrants from now Germany and Switzerland brought the tradition to Pennsylvania.

The Westmoreland’s Folk Art and Westmoreland County Fraktur Collection, purchased from Joy and David Brocklebank, demonstrates that fraktur was not only practiced in the southeastern quadrant of the state, but in the southwestern quadrant as well.

Georg Gottfried Ephraim Burger, Birth and Baptismal Certificate for Margaretha
Burger, c. 1838, Ink and watercolor on paper, 14 3/4 x 12 1/8 inches, The Joy and R. David
Brocklebank Collection through the William W. Jamison II Art Acquisition Fund, 2008.156

Make your own!
The most common forms of fraktur are birth and baptismal records, which make up a large portion of the Museum’s collection. These records are often embellished with colorful motifs, such as birds, hearts, and tulips. House blessings, writing examples, narratives, marriage certificates, and New Year’s greetings are also among the varieties of fraktur in our permanent collection.

Use the guides on the back to practice your fraktur techniques.

Then, use a blank piece of paper to create your own fraktur!

Think your fraktur’s pretty awesome? Share it using #WestmorelandFraktur and tag us:

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