2023 Pennsylvania Dutch Calendar
Fer die Schtanne zu Molle: To Paint the Stars
The Artwork of Barn Star Painter Milton J. Hill (1887-1972)
The 2023 Pennsylvania Dutch Calendar celebrates the life and work of barn star artist Milton J. Hill (1887-1972) of Virginville, Berks County. Milton began painting in 1902 at the age of 14, and rose to become the region’s preeminent painter throughout the 20th century. His work featured a signature starburst pattern with an interlaced border, which has become a classic barn decoration in the region and is called the “Hill Star” in his honor. Milton began painting “Schtanne” (stars) long before the term “hex sign” was introduced to the region through tourist literature. A third generation painter, Milton maintained that the designs were traditionally called “Schtanne” or “Scheierschtanne” (barn stars) and were artistic expressions developed by artists to please the eye. Today, these geometric representations of heavenly bodies have become symbolic of the living traditions of Pennsylvania Dutch folk culture in the region.
(26pp. full-color illus. Masthof Press, 2023.)