The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center is an open-air folklife museum and research center dedicated to preserving and celebrating Pennsylvania German folk culture, history, and language in a unique educational setting at Kutztown University.

Hex Signs & Barn Stars of Southeastern Pennsylvania


Presented by Patrick J. Donmoyer

This program is a photographic presentation of field research conducted from 2007 to the present throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, as a survey of decorated barns and the content of their decorations. The survey reveals a diverse and colorful tradition of folk art that has persisted to the present day and overlaps with many other artistic, ritual, and architectural traditions. In addition, the content of the designs will be compared to trends in Pennsylvania German folklore, especially as it pertains to beliefs and practices associated with the agricultural lifestyle, religious expression, and observations of the heavens. Donmoyer is the author of Hex Signs: Myth and Meaning in Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Stars (2013).

Presentation featured at the Berks Country Fest, June 8, 2020.