Emily Nell Yellow Bird

Contemporary Folk Artist & Educator

(sung to the tune of “My Favorite Things”, Sound of Music) “Bluebirds on boxes and frolicking foxes, kingfishers fishing and bicycle wishing, barn owls that fly with the moon on their wings,
these are a few of my favorite things.”  - Emily Nell Yellow Bird

As her untrained ancestors of the past, weaving watercolor and paper-cutting, this contemporary folk artist finds pleasure and joy as she incorporates her heritage while painting the many charms of nature.

"Chust Fer Fancy"?

Of all the peoples who immigrated to America, perhaps few are better known for their distinctive arts than the Germans who settled in Pennsylvania, also known as the Pennsylvania Dutch.  In August 1733 the Elizabeth sailed into Philadelphia and unloaded a band of German immigrants onto the rich soil they were yearning to farm.

The settlers were devout, simple, honest folk, prepared for hardship and used to hard work.  The potter tried his hand and produced utilitarian objects of beauty while the cabinet maker did his best to fill his order for a dower chest.  The smith turned out graceful hardware for the new home and the Fraktur artist used garish colors and naïve drawings to record the birth of a child, celebrate a marriage & more.

"Chust fer fancy" is a PA Dutch phrase that translates to "Just for Fancy".  Historically, the Pennsylvania German Lutherans & Quakers loved to decorate in detail everything from furniture to gravestones and plates to butter molds.  They are referred to as the "Fancy Dutch" while the Amish & Mennonites, also PA Dutch, are referred to as the "Plain Dutch".

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