Pennsylvania Dutch

Immigrants to the State of Pennsylvania in America brought brush stroke painting as one of their traditions.

Pennsylvania Dutch is characterised by bold and colourful motifs and was originally painted on tinware first painted with a red, black or asphaltum background.

In the early 1800's it became known as "flowering". The style further developed into one more elaborate with the addition of stylised fruits, flowers and strokes.

Folk Art - Pennsylvania Dutch

This brush caddy was painted with a Pennsylvania Dutch motif from a book by Helen Jeglic.


Strange as you might find it, "Dutch" in "Pennsylvania Dutch" did not refer to Dutch immigrants - they were actually German. Apparently, the misnomer came about because the German word for "German" was "Deutsch"and the other residents of Pennsylvania anglicised this to "Dutch".

The Pennsylvania Dutch and their art are therefore, really of German ancestry.


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Traditional Folk Art

Canalboat Painting
French Folk Art
Pennsylvania Dutch

Contemporary Decorative Painting

Faux Finishes in Decorative Painting

Decorative Painting Gallery



Books to help you

Painted Wood Projects in the Pennsylvania Folk Art Style
Alan Bridgewater, Gill Bridgewater

The Pennsylvania-German Decorated Chest
by Monroe Fabian

Pennsylvania Dutch Designs
Rebecca McKillip

Authentic Pennsylvania Dutch Designs
Frances Lichten




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