German Folk Arts of New York State

By Mary Antoine de Julio
Foreword by Roderic H. Blackburn

Subjects: New York/regional, German Culture, History, Archives And Collections
Imprint: Distribution Partners
Paperback : 9780939072040, 43 pages, January 1985

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An essential introduction to the crafts and folks arts of German settlers in New York state.


The folk industry and beautiful crafts of German settlers in New York State come to light in this richly illustrated volume. Following the devastating Thirty Years War, waves of Germans migrated to the New York region in the first decade of the seventeenth century. The settlers brought with them a rich, enduring tradition of painted furniture, carved objects, and embroidered cloth, folk arts that continued for at least five generations, well into the late nineteenth century. Featured here are some of the most striking and well known of those craft traditions: the famous painted wooden chests, everyday tools, paintings, book covers, textiles, decorated boxes, chairs, and other distinctively rendered furniture.

The detailed description and analysis of these craft traditions offer a powerful and unique glimpse of German settlers in New York State and reveal their long-standing influence on the history of the region.

Mary Antoine de Julio is a historian and the author of "What a Rich Reward!": Betsey Reynolds Voorhees and the Collection of Her Handiwork. She is co-owner of La Maison Ravoux Bread and Breakfast in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Roderic H. Blackburn is an ethnologist and architectural historian who has held positions as Director of Research at Historic Cherry Hill, Assistant Director of the Albany Institute of History and Art, and Senior Research Fellow at the New York State Museum. He is the author of Dutch Colonial Homes in America; Great Houses of New England; and (with Ruth Piwonka) Remembrance of Patria: Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America, 1609–1776.