Quotes for Thesis
A collection of interviews conducted for my thesis and quotes from the interviews to be used in my thesis.
Davies, Diane. Personal interview. Author’s mother talks about PA Dutch culture and her experience
within it. 13 March. 2016. Web. < https://www.rachelyoderart.net/single-post/2017/07/24/Quotes-for-Thesis>
“In my generation (Baby Boomers) we kinda made fun of the dutchie/dutchified people because of the way they spoke. It wasn’t cool to be dutchie, it just wasn’t cool. And that’s what you’re all about when you’re a teenager, is trying to fit in a be cool. “
“My first roommate at college (1973) knew I was PA Dutch and wanted to know where my bonnet was, she thought I was Amish. That was about the extent of it, and that was my first experience of people not knowing the difference between PA Dutch and Amish.”
When asked if her views of the culture have changed at all as she’s gotten old, Davies said, “Yeah I learned to appreciate the frugality in which they lived – they wasted nothing. The support they gave each other in church, even if someone didn’t believe everything they church talked about, they would still go there. It was their social life, it was their support group, it’s where they would go to have quilting circle, etc. As far as learning to appreciate it, I think I always appreciated in because I picked up the handiwork (sewing/embroidery arts) as well. My grandmother’s (Verna Fisher) work was just unbelievabily magnificant, and now I know how talented she was without being recognized as an incredible talent,”
This speaks to the utalitarian nature of the PA Dutch. Davies’ grandmother, Verna Fisher (Oley, PA) was not interseted in recognition, but rather created this work with the payoff of enjoying the work itself. “ ‘Busy hands, happy heart’ she would say!”
Davies, Olive. Personal interview. Author’s grandmother talks about feedbags, PA Dutch kitsch patterns
and her experience with them. 16 June. 2017. Web. < https://www.rachelyoderart.net/single-post/2017/07/24/Quotes-for-Thesis>
Heinsohn, Dorles. Personal interview. Owner of PA Dutch Gift Haus- discussed kitsch vs. authentic and
the trends in PA Dutch surface designs from her experience in business for over 50 years. 17 June. 2017. Web. < https://www.rachelyoderart.net/single-post/2017/07/24/Quotes-for-Thesis>
Horton, Beverly. Personal interview. PA Dutch quilter and sewing enthusiast that used to sell the PA
Dutch fabrics at JcPenny and remembers clearly the widespread popularity of these items. 19 June. 2017. Web. < https://www.rachelyoderart.net/single-post/2017/07/24/Quotes-for-Thesis>
Hoyt, Ivan and Dorothy. Personal interview. Traditional PA Dutch folk artist that has been working the
Folk Fest for over 20 years (photos of patterns). 7 July. 2017. Web. < https://www.rachelyoderart.net/single-post/2017/07/24/Quotes-for-Thesis>
Jarret, Debbie. Personal interview. Traditional Sawdust folk artist that has been working the Folk Fest for over 20 years, her experience as a traditional folk artist working alongside very kitschy and exploitative designs. 7July. 2017. Web. < https://www.rachelyoderart.net/single-post/2017/07/24/Quotes-for-Thesis>
Madenford, Douglas. 2017, Contemporary PA Dutch language teacher, entertainer, author and
preservation efforts leader. Web. < https://www.rachelyoderart.net/single-post/2017/07/24/Interview-with-Douglas-Madenford-for-Thesis>
McCoy-Richardson, Amanda. Personal interview. B.A. Pennsylvania German Studies. 23 July. 2017. Web. < https://www.rachelyoderart.net/single-post/2017/07/24/Quotes-for-Thesis>
Perry, Candace. Personal interview. Curator of The Schwenkfelder Library and Museums collection and
PA Dutch textile expert, discusses the trends of companies creating kitsch designs and what effect it had on PA Dutch culture from the inside and from the outside. 21 June. 2017. Web. <https://www.rachelyoderart.net/single-post/2017/07/24/Quotes-for-Thesis>
Sacks, Shirley. Traditional folk artist/embroiderer, educator, founder of Crewel World that has been
working the Folk Fest for over 20 years and is a scholar on the subject of embroidery work known as crewel. 7 July. 2017. Web. < https://www.rachelyoderart.net/single-post/2017/07/24/Quotes-for-Thesis>
Schreiwer, Robert L. Personal interview. Contemporary PA Dutch language teacher, leader, author. 23
July. 2017. Web. < https://www.rachelyoderart.net/single-post/2017/07/24/Quotes-for-Thesis>
“Sheesh, my whole world is Deitsch kitsch... I am not even sure where to start.
Well let's start with what makes you like it? Are you attracted to in aesthetically or nostalgically?
“Both... I have been around it my entire life. Some pieces remind me of home. Some remind me of relatives' homes. I'd wager that some speak to my subconscious mind. My house is decorated in various Deitsch styles as part of my identity. I am Deitsch. I love our cultural, from the mundane to the esoteric and from the individual artist's expression to the mass produced kitsch.”
Varjan, Elaine. 2017, PA Dutch folk artist that has been working the Folk Fest for over 20 years. 7 July.
2017. Web. < https://www.rachelyoderart.net/single-post/2017/07/24/Quotes-for-Thesis>
Yoder, Hunter M. Contemporary folk artist painting traditional and non-traditional hex signs. BFA in
Paiting, Kutztown. Yoder used to work at the Kutztown Folk Fest in the 70s and grew up in Kutztown selling goods to tourists that would come to the folk fest. 23 July. 2017. Web. < https://www.rachelyoderart.net/single-post/2017/07/24/Quotes-for-Thesis>
Yoder lived in PA Dutch country in the 50s-70s. His experience from childhood of traditional PA Dutch folk art and kitsch, “As young kids we made stuff, like distlefink paitings on wood, to sell for the Kutztown Folk Festival. We sold it outside of my dad’s dental office (Main Street, Kutztown, PA). Then when we got a little older, we worked at the folk fest.”
On kitsch, “(Greenberg) says if you repeated traditional art it was kitsch, you’re saying (author) traditional folk art is pure and that the kitsch was the polution and comercialization of these traditions,”
“During this time pop art was happening and they were just regergitating comercial printing processes and ads basically, and this (kitsch) is not too far from that,”
“Pure comercialism at its best!”
“The part I find offensive is the Amish-Dutch stuff, the rest of it doesn’t bother me. It’s a misrepresentation of PA Dutch culture for profit.”
on folk art evolution “Every tradition, if it’s a living tradition, has to evolve. If it’s treated like a dead tradition in order to maintain integrity, this causes the work to lose it’s relavance to the living culture.”
Yoder, Rachel. 2017, Author, comtemporary folk artist, art educator, illustrator and designer working to reclaim PA Dutch identity through a revival of PA Dutch surface designs. Interview by Hunter M. Yoder. 23 July. 2017. Web. < https://www.rachelyoderart.net/single-post/2017/07/24/Quotes-for-Thesis>
“There was a void left by the absence of PA Dutch kitsch products after the 1980s. Their accessibility and low cost are very vacuum for a desire for patterns, fabrics and clothing left by kitsch patterns extinction new designs would be successful in filling that void and attracting new interest in PA Dutch folklife.
I feel that using a hybrid of folk processes and digital processes to make things with a hand-made element but also in a way that is easily consumable and utilitarian so that the prices can be more reasonable is the best and most respectful solution. As a contemporary folk artist, I believe in honoring the motifs and the traditions, but I also believe in using the advances of technology to make our art more efficiently and accessible. The goal here for me is to promote our authentic culture and ways of life in the present. I honor the past and my ancestors when I paint, but I remain grounded in the present. We need to connect to PA Dutch folks that are here and now! I envision a rebranding of PA Dutch kitsch products to make them authentic representations and also appeal to the younger generations of PA Dutch people and the public. There are enough PA Dutch folk art reenactors, that’s not my goal. I am standing in the present with my children and my community and I have a strong desire to pull the threads of the past to meet the threads of the future.
Young PA Dutch people desire to connect to their culture and have revived interest in these once popular kitsch patterns and products, so the inaccuracy continues to spread. They also are being gouged with the prices of these inaccurate representations. With new demand from the Xennials and Millenials and salability why isn’t anyone creating reproductions of these fabrics? Well I’m not sure, but I see a need and I’m going for it! I personally have sought out these fabric patterns for years and it boggled my mind why they had completely disappeared. I plan to create a line of surface pattern designs with authethuc PA Dutch folklife imagery for the modern PA Dutch person to enjoy. Redesigning these products with cultural accuracy and sharing them for low cost utilitarian purposes once again is my goal. I believe we can revive their original intent and beauty to continue sharing the PA Dutch culture through new surface designs. These designs become like an advertisement, ‘come see what PA Dutch culture is like in the 21st century’,”
Zettlemoyer, Tammy. Personal interview. Contemporary traditional PA Dutch potter discusses kitsch
framed by her thesis on material culture. 7 July. 2017. Web. < https://www.rachelyoderart.net/single-post/2017/07/24/Quotes-for-Thesis>