Donna Selfridge Spangler

Donna Selfridge Spangler will teach the historic art of the Pennsylvania German fraktur during Renfrew Institute’s workshop on Saturday, Jan. 26, in the Renfrew Park Visitors Center.

Renfrew Institute is sponsoring a fraktur workshop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, in the visitors center at Renfrew Park. The program is limited to 10 participants, ages 15 and up.

Donna Selfridge Spangler will teach the historic art of the fraktur, a Pennsylvania German folk art from the 1750s, used to decorate documents such as birth or marriage certificates. Produced for more than a century, fraktur exemplifies one facet of Pennsylvania’s early American culture.

“Participants will paint their own fraktur based on historical design — flowers, birds, vines and hearts — as they learn basic fraktur lettering and what the designs symbolize,” Spangler said. “They will use pens, ink and watercolors, with a choice of laid or woven paper, both used during the time period of fraktur.”

All materials will be supplied, including handouts on the calligraphy style typically used for fraktur lettering.

Spangler has lived most of her life in the central Pennsylvania mountains surrounded by the heritage of the Pennsylvania German culture. She is recognized as a Master Artisan by the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and is listed in the Artisan Directory of Early American Life Magazine.

“I enjoy connecting today’s families with the past by creating lasting heirlooms of family trees, birth and wedding announcements and inspirational verses,” she said.

There is a cost for the workshop, and pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, email:, or call: (717) 762-0373.

This program is underwritten in part by Marge Kiersz, Lucinda D. Potter, CPA, and Smith, Elliott, Kearns & Co., with additional support from Renfrew Institute’s Today’s Horizon Fund contributors: The Nora Roberts Foundation; The John R. Hershey Jr. and Anna L. Hershey Family Foundation; APX Enclosures Inc.; and the Carolyn Terry Eddy Family, which includes Carolyn with daughters Connie Fleagle and Kim Larkin. Facility support is provided courtesy of Renfrew Museum and Park.

Parking is available behind the Visitors Center with additional parking in the lower lot off Welty Road. For more information, visit:, or call the institute at the number listed above.

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