May 13, 2014–January 8, 2017

Fraktur with Inverted Heart

Jacob Strickler (1770-1842) Ingenuity

Shenandoah County, Virginia


Watercolor and ink on paper

6 3/16 x 8 1/4"

Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York

Gift of Ralph Esmerian, 2005.8.30

Photo © John Bigelow Taylor, New York

Jacob Strickler (1770-1842)

Related Material

Fraktur with Inverted Heart

The Tall Case Clock descended in Jacob Strickler’s family with this fraktur, his books, ten drawings, additional fraktur, and unfinished designs for fraktur. The discovery of the clock provided Johannes Spitler’s full name and also established a direct connection between the painted motifs and the fraktur produced by Strickler, Spitler’s neighbor. It has been noted that the motifs on the clock and the writing itself bear a strong resemblance to Strickler’s calligraphy, as evidenced in a 1794 Zierschrift, or type of writing sample, leading to questions in recent scholarship about whether Strickler was, in fact, somehow involved in the painting of this and other objects within the group of twenty or so that are attributed to Spitler.

Stacy C. Hollander, “Fraktur with Inverted Heart,” exhibition label for Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum. Stacy C. Hollander and Valérie Rousseau, curators. New York: American Folk Art Museum, 2014.