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KU’s PA German Cultural Heritage Center Opens Collaborative Exhibit with Glencairn Museum

by Kutztown University

Mar 07, 2019
The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center is an open-air folklife museum and research center

KUTZTOWN, PA – In collaboration with Kutztown University and the Glencairn Museum, the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center opened an exhibit entitled, “Hex Signs: Sacred and Celestial Symbolism in Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Stars,” on March 1 at the Glencairn Museum in Bryn Athyn, Pa. The opening last Friday featured a lecture by KU’s own Patrick J. Donmoyer, director of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, guest curator of the exhibit.

The exhibit can be visited Tuesday through Friday with the 2:30 p.m. tour or by appointment, on weekends from 1-4:30 p.m. self-guided by donation, or on Saturday, April 28, from 1-5 p.m. during the Sacred Arts Festival. Admission is included in guided tours and events. The full exhibition catalog, Hex Signs: Sacred and Celestial Symbolism in Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Stars, is available online in pdf format. A printed copy of the catalog will soon be available for purchase at the Glencairn Museum for $10.

The exhibit runs through Nov. 3.

The exhibit explores themes of sacred and celestial imagery in the traditional arts of the Pennsylvania Dutch, with special emphasis on the decorated barns of Southeastern Pennsylvania. It 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 author of Hex Signs: Myth and Meaning in Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Stars (2013), Donmoyer will be leading a Hex Signs Folk Art Tour of Berks County in conjunction with the Glencairn exhibition; the bus will leave from and return to Glencairn on March 23, 2019.

The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University is a folk life museum and research center on the KU campus. Donmoyer is a fluent speaker of Pennsylvania Dutch and advocate for regional folk culture. His folk life research blends language, traditions and vernacular architecture. Donmoyer 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).

For more information about the exhibit, please visit www.glencairnmuseum.org.

For more information about the Pennsylvania Cultural Heritage Center, please visit https://www.kutztown.edu/about-ku/administrative-offices/pennsylvania-german-cultural-heritage-center.htm.

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