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.