Roma Ruth Artist Celebration

A gallery showing celebrating the work of fraktur artist Roma Ruth.

Roma Jacobs Ruth was not born into the fraktur tradition: her roots are in western Pennsylvania. Through marriage into a local Mennonite Freindschaft, she somehow absorbed the meaning and significance of the small fraktur rewards, first created by colonial schoolmaster, Christopher Dock, who taught at the school in the Salford Mennonite Meetinghouse where Roma is currently an active member.

Roma began her journey with fraktur in 1974 when she drew a fraktur-like greeting card for her mother, Trella Risch Jacobs, on her 84th birthday. Since then, Roma has created over 600 pieces. Her genres include birth, baptismal, and marriage certificates; celebratory pieces, bookplates, and illuminated texts of poems, hymns, and biblical selections. A self-taught artist, many of her designs are based on motifs used by the early schoolmasters which she interprets with her own sense of color, vitality, and joy.