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Lecture | Hex Signs: Sacred and Celestial Symbolism in Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Stars

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Free Admission

Refreshments begin at 3:30 pm; illustrated presentation and Q&A from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Time will be provided to explore the exhibition on your own and to meet Patrick Donmoyer.

This presentation is a photographic introduction to Glencairn’s featured exhibition of Pennsylvania barn art curated by Patrick J. Donmoyer, Director of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University. Based on over a decade of field research throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania in six counties, Donmoyer’s survey of decorated Pennsylvania barns reveals a diverse and colorful tradition of folk art that has persisted to the present day, overlapping with many other artistic, ritual, and architectural traditions. In addition, the content of the designs will be compared to trends in Pennsylvania German folklore, especially as it pertains to beliefs and practices associated with the agricultural lifestyle, religious expression, and observations of the heavens. Donmoyer is the author of Hex Signs: Myth and Meaning in Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Stars (2013).

Glencairn Museum’s exhibition, Hex Signs: Sacred and Celestial Symbolism in Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Stars, features actual examples of barn stars, decorated objects, and related images. This is the second collaborative exhibition between Glencairn and the Heritage Center at Kutztown University. The first exhibition, in 2017, was titled, Powwowing in Pennsylvania: Healing Rituals of the Dutch Country.

The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University is a folklife museum and research center on the Kutztown Campus. Patrick Donmoyer is a fluent speaker of Pennsylvania Dutch and advocate for regional folk culture. His folklife research blends language, traditions, and vernacular architecture. Patrick is the President of the Historic Barn and Farm Foundation of Pennsylvania and the author of numerous articles and books. His most recent work is on the ritual healing traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch: Powwowing in Pennsylvania: Braucherei & the Ritual of Everyday Life (2017).