Signature Free Library Exhibitions

Framing Fraktur will explore the relationship between traditional fraktur and the work of seven contemporary artists presented through the two simultaneous exhibitions this spring:

Quill & Brush: Pennsylvania German Fraktur and Material Culture

March 2 – July 18, 2015
Rare Book Department | William B. Dietrich Gallery
Curated by Lisa Minardi

Quill and Brush
Bookplate (Bücherzeichen) for Abraham Landes
Laid paper; watercolor; ink
[Johann Adam Eyer (1755-1837)], Decorator and Scrivener
Perkasie School, Hilltown Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Quill & Brush is an exhibition featuring original fraktur works along with Pennsylvania German artifacts, manuscripts, and ephemera, drawing from the Rare Book Department's collection of more than 1,300 such pieces. The exhibition will provide current research and interpretation of major examples of historic fraktur and related objects.

Word & Image: Contemporary Artists Connect to Fraktur

March 2 – June 14, 2015
Parkway Central Library | Throughout the building
Curated by Judith Tannebaum

Word and Image
Gert and Uwe Tobias, Untitled, 2014. Courtesy the artists and Team Gallery, New York.

Word & Image features drawings, paintings, woodblock prints, and embroideries by seven international, contemporary artists: Marian Bantjes (Canada), Anthony Campuzano (United States), Imran Qureshi (Pakistan), Elaine Reichek (United States), Bob and Roberta Smith (England), and Gert and Uwe Tobias (Romania/Germany). Whereas discussion of fraktur has often been confined to the folk art genre, Word & Image reinterprets and reframes traditional fraktur through a contemporary lens that is international in scope, multi-generational, and diverse in content medium and formal approach. Each of the contemporary artists uses text or type as a visual component of their work to convey particular subject matter about his/her own culture and identity.

As part of Word & Image, the Rosenbach Museum and Library will display Localism, a drawing by the Canadian artist Marian Bantjes. The style of the work, in which the artist describes what it means to be truly local, recalls historic documents or the inscription on a tombstone.

Additional Free Library Exhibitions

The Artful Letter
Rhonda Garland (artist). Fraktur with cockatiels

The Artful Letter: An exhibition by the Philadelphia Calligrapher's Society
March 2 – June 14, 2015
Parkway Central Library | Art Hallway Gallery, 2nd Floor

The Artful Letter will focus on contemporary and traditional interpretations of fraktur.

Text in Prints: The Use of Language in Contemporary Printmaking
April 20 – July 19, 2015
Parkway Central Library, Print and Picture Collection Hallway Gallery

A selection of prints from the Print and Picture Collection in which the artist combines text and images.

Partner Exhibitions

Drawn with Spirit: Pennsylvania German Fraktur from the Joan and Victor Johnson Collection
February 1 – April 26, 2015
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Perelman Building

This exhibition features a selection of the Johnsons' promised gift of fraktur along with a variety of Pennsylvania German decorative arts from the Museum's collection. For more information, visit

Re-discovering Bucks County Fraktur: Recent Acquisitions
February 14 – April 12, 2015
Mercer Museum | Doylestown, PA

This small exhibition features some of the newest acquisitions of the Mercer Museum. For more information, visit

Highlights from The Library Company of Philadelphia's Fraktur Collection
February 17 – May 22, 2015
The Library Company of Philadelphia

Enjoy wonderful examples of fraktur in this intimate exhibition. For more information, visit

A Colorful Folk: Pennsylvania Germans & the Art of Everyday Life
March 1, 2015 – January 3, 2016
Winterthur |Wilmington, DE
For more information, visit

Explore the unique world of the Pennsylvania Germans and their colorful folk art, including decorated manuscripts, textiles, and pottery, in this exhibition highlighting recent acquisitions from the estate of legendary collector and scholar Frederick S. Weiser.

The Written Word in Pennsylvania German Decorative Arts and Material Culture
March 22 – October 20, 2015
Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center | Pennsburg, PA

Enjoy this internationally renowned collection of fraktur and folk art drawings, with additional selections from the textile collection and our collections of Pennsylvania German decorative arts. For more information, visit