American Art Traditions



Immigrants to America during Colonial times brought with them little but their traditions from their homelands. A tradition of decorative art was common among many of these European settlers. Once the difficulties of a harsh, new land were mastered, many set about to recreate familiar designs and motifs on objects of daily life.

From these immigrants' memories, faded by time, altered by local influences and simplified to save their precious time and money, come the earliest American Art Traditions.

One of the most widely known styles comes from the people we know today as the Pennsylvania Dutch or "Deutsch". Although many early Pennsylvania settlers immigrated from Scandinavia, the Netherlands and other parts of Europe, the majority originated from Germany. They settled in what is now Berks, Lehigh, Lebanon, Dauphin, Lancaster, and York counties.

Early New England furnishings typically included blanket chests and later, chests-of-drawers, often embellished with painted or chip-carved designs. Geometric patterns were common; "vinegar" painting often reproduced the look of wood grain, either realistic or fanciful.

Designs on our pieces are derived from those on Pennsylvania German and New England painted furniture, redware pottery and "fraktur" documents of the 1700's and 1800's. They are accurate interpretations of these unique styles of decorative art."


Eleanor Sweeney


Jan Taylor


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