Stephen J. Stein, Jerry V. Grant, Michael S. Graham, Brother Arnold Hadd, Michael K. Komanecky
This major new book with essays by prominent scholars presents the austere and simply styled objects of the Shakers in context of their faith and community at Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., the spiritual centre of the Shaker world. Outstanding examples of furniture, textiles, tools, machinery, books, drawings, ephemera and other objects, as well as historic images and new photography of the rooms and landscapes of various Shaker sites, bring the rich world of the Shakers to life. The materials were drawn primarily from the collection of the Shaker Museum and Library, Mt. Lebanon, the largest, broadest and deepest collection of Shaker material in the world. For 160 years, from 1787 to 1947, the Shakers at Mt. Lebanon led the largest and most successful utopian communal society in America. From this central community developed the Shakers’ ideals of equality of labour, gender, and race, as well as communal property, freedom, and pacifism. While the book provides a rich historical overview as seen through objects made and used at Mt. Lebanon, it also includes a section on the last active Shaker community, at Sabbathday Lake, Maine.
The catalogue’s select plates of Shaker objects and sensuous interior shots will be accompanied by an exhibition checklist, bibliography, and index.
"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
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