Die Blumen stehen hier

Die Blumen stehen hier

Item Info

Item No: frk00105
Title: Die Blumen stehen hier
Scripts/Text: Fraktur
Language: German
Physical Description: Leaf
Material: Wove paper; watercolor; ink

Die Blümlein stehen heer | Gepflanzet auf Papier; Gott | wolle selbst sie mahlen, Beygies | sen und bestrelen, das Herz sey | seine Erd Und jedes | Blümlein werd zur | wahrheit kraft und | wesen, In allen | die sie lesen |1835

[Left center at bottom of Fraktur]                                 [Right center at bottom of Fraktur]
             J. D. S. 1939                                                                    M. Godshall 1835


The little flowers are standing here, planted upon the paper. May God Himself nurture them, water, and send the sunshine. The Heart shall be their earth, and may every bloom become truth, power, and reality for all who read them.

[Left center at bottom of Fraktur]                                [Right center at bottom of Fraktur]
              J. D. S. 1939                                                                 M. Godshall 1835

Category: Religious Text
Media Type: Manuscripts
Source: Rare Book Department

Biographical Note:

John Derstine Souder (1865-1942) was raised on a Mennonite farm near Telford in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He was a storekeeper, postmaster, and poultry dealer before retiring. Souder spent the final five years of his life copying original Fraktur loaned to him by his neighbors and friends, and/or found in museums, as well as from printed sources such as Henry Stauffer Borneman’s 1937 Pennsylvania German Illuminated Manuscripts. At his death his cumulative work was hardly recognized beyond his local area. However, today’s museums and collectors value his undertaking as a survey and crowning touch to the Franconia Mennonite community’s well-known historical contribution to the flowering of Fraktur in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Scope and Content:

Hand-drawn; hand-colored; hand-lettered. The poem found enclosed in the central heart of the Fraktur piece is taken from Gerhard Teerstegen’s Geistliches Blumen=Gärtlein Inniger Seelen or Little Flower Garden for Fervent Souls…(Die Blümlein stehen hier | Gepflanzet aufs Papier: | Gott wolle selbst sie mahlen, | Begiessen und bestrahlen; | Das Hertz sey seine Erd, | Und jedes Blümlein werd’ | Zur Warheit, Krafft und Wesen, | In allen die sie lesen!). Surmounting the heart is a tulip-like bloom emanating from a leafy stalk, and flanked on each side by two lanky birds who are peering at a rosy cheeked face, perhaps the dweller of the flower. To the left and right of the birds are angel-like figures that fill all available space. Beneath the heart are repeated leaf motifs, and a second smaller heart. Flanking the smaller heart on either side is a V-waisted lady with rosy cheeks and a pensive look. There are additional faces integrated into the design of the Fraktur. A plain border frames this vibrantly colored work.


Associated Names: Souder, John Derstine
Provenance: Borneman, Henry S., 1870-1955
Souder, John Derstine, 1865-1942


Henry S. Borneman, Pennsylvania German Illuminated Manuscripts. Publications of the Pennslvania German Society, vol. 46. Norristown, Pa.: Pennsylvania German Society, 1937.

“Samuel Gottschall” in Russell D. and Corinne P. Earnest, Papers for Birth Dayes: Guide to the Fraktur Artists and Scriveners. East Berlin, Pa.: Russell D. Earnest Associates, 1997. 2nd ed., vol.1, 326-327.

Mary Jane Lederach Hershey. This Teaching I Present: Fraktur from the Skippack and Salford Mennonite Meetinghouse Schools, 1747-1836. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 2003, 146-153.

John L. Ruth. “My Work is Symbolical:  John D. Souder’s Fraktur, 1937-1942,” in Der Reggeboge. v. 46, Nr. 2. Kutztown, PA: The Pennsylvania German Society, 2012, 37-65.

"Jacob Souder and John Derstine Souder" in Russell D. and Corinne P. Earnest, Papers for Birth Dayes:  Guide to the Fraktur Artists and Scriveners. East Berlin, Pa.:  Russell D. Earnest Associates, 1997. 2nd ed., vol. 2, 715-716.

Gerhard Tersteegen. Geistliches Blumen=Gärtlein Inniger Seelen, Oder kurtze Schluß=Reimen Betrachtungen und Lieder Über allerhand warheiten des Innwendigen Christenthums; Zur Erweckung, Stärckung, und Erquickung in dem Verborgenen Leben mit Christo in GOtt. Nebst der Frommen Lotteri. In Teutschland zum 4ten Mahl gedruckt; und nun in America das erste Mahl Gedruckt zu Germanton bey Christoph Saur/ 1747.

Lisa Minardi, "Quill & Brush: An Introduction to Pennsylvania German Fraktur," in Framing Fraktur: Pennsylvania German Material Culture & Contemporary Art, ed. Judith Tannenbaum (Philadelphia: Free Library of Philadelphia, 2015), published on p. 43 as fig. 31. 

Creation Place Town/Township: Creation Place Note:See John L. Ruth “My Work is Symbolical”: John D. Souder’s Fraktur, 1937-1942, 38, 63.
City/Town/Township:Telford, Franconia Township

Creation Year (Single Year or Range Begin): 1939
Image Dimensions Width: 33 cm
ShelfMark: FLP 105
Creator Name: Souder, John Derstine, 1865-1942 [After Gottschall, Samuel, 1808-1898] - Decorator
Souder, John Derstine, 1865-1942 [After Gottschall, Samuel, 1808-1898] - Scrivener

View other associated items