An important book on Shaker art and life, offering a fresh look at a style that has endured through centuries and continues to inspire designers and homeowners. This book presents the elegantly austere and simply styled objects of the Shakers in the context of their faith and community at Mount Lebanon, N.Y., the spiritual and administrative center of the Shaker world. Outstanding examples of furniture, textiles, tools, and other objects-drawn primarily from the collection of Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon-bring the fascinating world of the Shakers to life. The book also explores the equally compelling material culture of Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, Maine, the last active Shaker community, and how this group of Shakers continued to thrive while other Shaker communities elsewhere gradually disappeared.
Accompanying a major exhibition organized by the Farnsworth Art Museum, this book presents a new and authentic perspective on the Shaker community. Specially commissioned photography, archival imagery, essays by prominent scholars, and a firsthand interview with a member of the Sabbathday Lake Shaker community deepen our understanding of this influential movement and style.
About the Author
Michael K. Komanecky is chief curator at the Farnsworth Art Museum, in Rockland, Maine. Stephen J. Stein is a historian of American religion at the University of Indiana. Jerry V. Grant is the director of research and library services at the Shaker Museum. Michael S. Graham is the director of the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village. Brother Arnold Hadd is a member of the Sabbathday Lake Shaker community. Leonard L. Brooks is the former director and David Stocks is the president of Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon.
"The fascinating story of the Shakers, and of their extraordinary furniture, is now told in The Shakers: From Mount Lebanon to the World. This book expands our knowledge by documenting other types of practical furniture, tools and even Shaker clothing...this beautiful and enthralling book opens a window onto the world of the Shakers..." -Wall Street Journal
"...this enlightening, visually arresting...uplifting exhibition highlights American ingenuity, resilience and fearlessness; its can-do spirit and individualism. The show is a rich overview of the Shaker community; but it celebrates individual artists, expressing themselves through a plain-spoken poetry that is uniquely American." -Review of Exhibition by the Wall Street Journal
"With simple objects, simple words, Farnsworth tells complex Shaker story...it is a great exhibition. It is beautifully installed and fascinating. The objects are important and compelling. The language behind the installation is the level-headed and eminently commonsensical voice of the Believers." -Review of Exhibition by the Portland Press Herald
"...the show will present a comprehensive look at the religious, social and economic foundations of Shaker life, seen through Shaker-made objects…accompanied by a richly illustrated book…” –The Republican Journal