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Glencairn Museum hosts program on Hex signs

“Hex Signs: Sacred and Celestial Symbolism in Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Stars,” a new exhibition, opens March 1 at Glencairn Museum in Bryn Athyn.

Of the many cultures that have settled this region over the centuries and put their stamp on local traditions, foods, arts, music, celebrations and language, one of the least understood – despite its familiarity – is the Pennsylvania Dutch.

Patrick J. Donmoyer, director of Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University and author of “Hex Signs: Myth and Meaning in Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Stars” (2013), is working to change that. The exhibition by the same name, which he is guest-curating, aims to crack open the meaning behind this Pennsylvania Dutch folk art tradition.

“Hex Signs” explores themes of sacred and celestial imagery in the traditional arts of the Pennsylvania Dutch, with special emphasis on the decorated barns of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and features actual examples of barn stars, decorated objects and related images.

Visitors will be able to purchase a full exhibition catalog of “Hex Signs,” a collaboration of the Heritage Center and Glencairn Museum for this exhibition, which runs through Nov. 3.

For information on the exhibition, as well as related lectures, workshop and bus tours, call 267-502-2600, email or visit