George Peter Deisert


(1732–c. 1810),
a fraktur artist, was born in Niederhochstadt, Palatinate, Germany. After his arrival in Pennsylvania in 1764, the next reference to him is found in the records of theChrist Reformed Church near Littlestown, where he probably served as a schoolmaster. He married Wilhelmina Hund, and they had several children; his son, John(1778–c. 1815), succeeded his father as a teacher at the congregation’s school. In 1776 the Dei serts served as baptismal sponsors in the Middletown Valley of Frederick County, Maryland.Deisert’s work chiefly consists of meticulously lettered baptismal records with carefully crosshatched backgrounds. There seems to have been no direct influence onhis work, but he was a contemporary of printers who worked in nearby Hanover, who issued a series of baptismal certificates from the 1790s to the 1840s. One of Deisert’s students was surely Johannes Bard (1797–1861), a fraktur artist who copied baptismal certificates printed in Hanover, and whose drawings of presidents andother prominent people rank him as an important folk artist. Deisert made New Year’s greetings for girls who were neighbors, and with great effort penned at least twosheets with hymns in German, one with each verse positioned within its own heart. What he lacked in iconographic imagination is compensated for by the exactitude of his work, and what is not presented in color is balanced by the overall neat and clean effect of his work. Deisert died without an estate, near Littlestown, AdamsCounty, Pennsylvania.
See also
Weiser, Frederick S.
The Gift Is Small, the Love Is Great.
York, Pa., 1994