A Folk Art Bird Tree is a single branch of wood or other material held up by a base with birds attached to its branches. Those birds can be made of pottery, metal, paper mache or of classically carved out of wood. Bird trees were carved by the Pennsylvania Germans to symbolize the entrance of spring with its emphasis on rebirth. The trees were filled with colorful birds such as those used in "Fractures" . The birds were very colorful and attached to bent branches. The number of branches  and birds varied with each creation. The position of the birds also varied with each piece. Each carver had their own style for their work. These trees were given to infants or new couples as gifts of affection or courtship.

The Strawser-Godshall-Brunner Family have for many generations continued the Folk Art of the Pennsylvania Germans in contemporary times. Barbara Strawser paints life in Lebanon and Lancaster counties. Her Grandfather, Luke Gotshall and her father Walter Gotshall were carvers in the Wilhelm Shimmal tradition. Her Great Aunt Hattie Brunner became known as the "Pennsylvania German Grandma Moses' for her folk art paintings. Strawser's two sons, David and Timothy are wood carvers along with their father, Daniel Strawser. The family's works have shared their Pennsylvania German heritage with the world.

This Folk Art Bird Tree is colorful and balanced. It supports three stylized birds on three branches.  The birds look attentively at the viewer with one looking upward. The tree trunk is brown from top to bottom. The base is a combination of shapes stacked in alternating red and green paint. It is signed under the base. It is 20"T with a base diameter of 4". It is in excellent condition.

This bird tree is hand carved by Walter Godshall. It is hand painted and signed by June Gotshall and dated 1996. Mr & Mrs. Gotshall are members of the family described above. They are well known Folk Artists of Berks and Lancaster County. Their work is highly collectable .

# MCB 22070


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