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Hex Sign Poster
by Connie Schallau
Barn with Hex Sign

The "Pennsylvania Dutch" or "Pennsylvania Germans", best known as the "fancy" Dutch, created beautiful folk art type designs commonly referred to as "hex signs." These signs were painted on barns and houses. They only began to be hung inside homes in the mid-1900s. Many legends surround the hex sign. Some people affix magical powers to them, while others just enjoy the simple, colorful geometric designs. Personally, I remain open-minded...and well, if my Distelfink* brings me good luck and happiness, who am I to complain.

* Distelfink - good luck and happiness...two distelfinks - double good luck and happiness...two distelfinks crossed over each other - true friendship

Hex Sign Poster

The fanciful folk art form that has come to be known as Hex Signs originated in southeastern Pennsylvania in the mid 1800's. That is when Pennsylvania German (also often referred to as Pennsylvania Dutch) farmers began painting these circular signs with colorful geometric motifs directly onto the forebays and gables of their unique Pennsylvania bank barns. Contrary to their name, hex signs have no connection to witchcraft. They also are not Amish. It is the belief of scholars that these signs were painted as purely as emblems of cultural pride.

The artist's intent in creating this poster was to refocus people's attention on the traditional geometric motifs painted directly on barns, rather than the discs with birds and flowers and even shamrocks that have been created to take advantage of the tourist trade. Only signs with the traditional geometric motifs painted directly on barns were photographed for this poster. Due to suburban expansion in southeastern Pennsylvania, barns are disappearing at a steady rate. Also, many farmers are covering their barns with aluminum siding. It is the artist's hope that efforts such as hers and others will stave off their disappearance from the beautiful landscape that her ancestors first came to in the early 1700's.

Note: For those interested in viewing hex signs, the Reading Berks County (PA) Visitors Bureau has put together a free route guide you can drive yourself. Their number is 610-375-4085. The artist has no connection with the Visitors Bureau but is providing this information as a courtesy both to her native county and those who share her passion for folk art.

Hex Sign Poster

Hex Sign Poster
Item #CS-1
by Connie Schallau

Size: 18" tall x 24"
A standard frame size. Printed in USA on recycled paper.

* Includes shipping in the USA.




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