Rethinking Shaker Design

An examination of the furniture built by the Western communities expands our notions of what is ‘Shaker.’
By Kerry Pierce
Pages: 72-78

From the  February 2006 issue #153
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The restored Shaker community at Pleasant Hill, Ky., gives admirers of Shaker architecture, furniture and life
an opportunity to get very close to the source of that admiration. Guests can stay in rooms once home to Shaker Brothers and Sisters. They can walk a gravel boulevard that once was a part of a turnpike connecting the Pleasant Hill community to the outside world. They can tour the gardens and fields that once put food on Shaker tables. They can even dine in the Village Trustees’ Office in much the same way as 19th-century visitors to Pleasant Hill once dined in the company of the community’s Shakers.

Although the rooms in which visitors stay are furnished with reproductions of Pleasant Hill originals, it’s possible to move from room to room in the Centre Family Dwelling and look firsthand at original Pleasant Hill chairs, tables and casework.

In such a setting, it’s possible to immerse the senses in the Shaker experience; and for makers and/or admirers of Shaker-inspired furniture, that’s an opportunity not to be missed.

From the  February 2006 issue #153
Buy this issue now