Dunkelberger’s Belsnickle – Museum Collection

1997-33-1

Belsnickel is often described as malicious and belligerent. But in this drawing by Ralph D. Dunkelberger (1894-1965), Belsnickel is made to look more like the kind and joyful Santa Clause that we know today.  Dunkelberger was a local artist who was born in Reading and went to the Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art. Many of his works feature local scenes, people, or cultural figures, including this depiction of Belsnickel that many Pennsylvania German children would have known.

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