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.

Of the Image and the Word

Text, Illumination, and Devotional Imagery in Pennsylvania German Material Texts

Pennsylvania Germans led the North American continent in the printing and dissemination of sacred texts and Bibles throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries through the use of sophisticated printing technology. At the same time, the creation of handwritten calligraphic texts flourished as part of a robust literary and devotional tradition. Though produced in a distinctly American context, these works of text and image comprise a portion of a broader story of transatlantic immigration, entrepreneurial engagement, and spiritual diaspora.

This cultural exhibition was featured in September 2022-December 2023 in the M.L.E. Foundation Exhibition Gallery, in the DeLight E. Breidegam Building, Headquarters of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center.