The story behind our American folk art prints
The charming depictions of animals and colorful washes of color over script immediately caught our eye at market. Then we learned the history behind these fanciful works of art and simply fell in love with what they represent at heart: the purity of the human spirit.
During the Great Depression, the Mennonites of Lancaster Pennsylvania created their own expression of Ledger Art, a practice originally associated with the 19th century Plains Indians.
Frugal artists tore pages out of old agricultural and small business ledgers dating as far back as 1812 and used them as canvases for their art.
Ink drawings of whimsical figures of birds, cats and lions are painted atop these scripted sheets, creating an austere mix of words, numbers and images.
The very neat calligraphy is artful in of itself, and paired with the bright pops of color, represent a richness in character the Mennonites denied themselves in their everyday life and attire.
In fact, the artists of these works remain anonymous, and many say the modest and humble Mennonites would have preferred it that way.
Wonderful examples of American folk art, our Document Print reproductions are delightful and imaginative and created in an honest, almost childlike manner.
We believe these colorful images of the animal kingdom are proof of the need for people to express joy in the world through art, no matter the means.