March 23 – September 2, 2019
Historic artifacts from the collections of Shaker Museum I Mount Lebanon and Shaker Heritage Society with works of contemporary art by
The daily life of Shaker communities is now largely preserved and interpreted through the museums that have come to occupy their meeting and dwelling houses, spacious barns and busy workshops. While the Shakers have dwindled in number from an estimated 6000 in the mid-nineteenth century to just two individuals in Sabbathday Lake, Maine, Shaker influence upon American art, design, and architecture continues to be profound.
The relationship to labor as a devotional process is common to both Shakers and artists of many disciplines. Shakers sought nearness to divine spirit through work that was necessary, relentless, and achieved through concentrated effort. Among artists, labor also serves a transcendent purpose – the production of objects and experiences that reflect and expand upon human perception. Through this exhibition, we can observe how the mechanics and motifs of Shaker textile production have seeded the creative pathways of artists today.