This Teaching I Present: Fraktur From the Skippack & Salford Mennonite Meetinghouse Schools, 1747-1836 (Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History)

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9781561484065: This Teaching I Present: Fraktur From the Skippack & Salford Mennonite Meetinghouse Schools, 1747-1836 (Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History)
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Fraktur, that exquisite script formed with ornate letters and highly decorated borders, was created for nearly 90 consecutive years by a series of teachers in the Mennonite schools in communities northwest of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Because Mennonites were not known for producing paintings and other two-dimensional art, this well-developed practice of making quill-lettered mottos, certificates, and rewards is particularly outstanding. Historian and fraktur expert and collector Mary Jane Lederach Hershey tells about these Mennonite-run schools, the unusual teachers who oversaw them, and the artistic tradition they carried forward and passed on to their willing students. The book includes rich full-color photographs of more than 100 pieces of fraktur made between 1747 and 1836, complete with English translations of their German texts.

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About the Author:

Mary Jane Lederach Hershey (b. 1930) has deep roots in the Skippack and Salford communities. In 1717 her Lederach ancestors settled at Salford where descendants of the original Lederachs have continued to live to the present day.

Hershey was baptized at the Salford Mennonite Church in 1945. She is an active member of the congregation where she has served as elder and teacher.

In 1972 Hershey was one of the founders of the Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania. She served as the first director of the Mennonite Heritage Center when it was located in Souderton, Pennsylvania. For many years she was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Mennonite Historians, completing her tenure on the Board by serving four years as President. Currently Hershey is a Trustee Emeritus, a member of the Library and Collections Committee, and a consultant on exhibits and acquisitions.

She is a graduate of Goshen College (B.A., 1951) and Drexel Institute of Technology, now Drexel University (M.S., 1957).

Hershey is a real estate broker in a family business where she and her husband, Hiram, work with three of their children, Thomas, James, and Beth. Her son Peter is an occupational therapist and orthotist. All of Hershey’s children and her five grandchildren live in the Lower and Upper Salford community.

Review:

"One of the most delightful and colorful studies of Pennsylvania German material culture ever to be published." -- Gerald C. Wertkin, Director, American Folk Art Museum, New York

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