of Alberta

Maria Tiessen fonds

Accession 2003.043

Title and Physical Description

Maria Tiessen fonds. — 1947, [ca. 1975]. — 1 framed artwork. – 1 photograph

Administrative/Biographical History

Maria (nee Nickel) Tiessen was born 4 February 1890 in Lindenau, Molotschna and died 7 September 1978. She was married to Heinrich Tiessen and immigrated to Canada in 1926. Until 1930 they lived in Magrath, Alberta when they moved to Rosemary, Alberta. Maria made very many mottoes – big ones for several churches (at Gem, Tofield, and Rosemary) and many smaller ones as well.

Custodial History

The motto was given by the Gem Mennonite Church to Mr. and Mrs. John Janzen of Tofield, Alberta on the dissolution of the Church since the Janzens were the first couple married in the Church. On Mrs. Janzen’s death, her brother’s family donated the motto to the MHSA.

Scope & Content

The fonds consists of a framed motto and two photographs of the creator. The motto is an example of “tinsel painting” a Mennonite folk art popular in the mid-20th century. The motto was painted in reverse on a sheet of glass, which was framed over a backing of crumpled tinfoil.

Source of Acquisition

Gift by Paetkau family, 2003


Accession 2003.043
Language: German
Last updated 20 November 2003 – Judith Rempel
Revised July 2012


Box 1
1 – 1 Wood-framed Spruch (Bible verse), Psalms 86:11, 134.5cm x 84.5 cm
1 – 2 Photo of Maria (Nickel) Tiessen 1 – 3 Photo of Maria (Nickel) Tiessen (copy of above)