cover image Shaker--Life, Work, and Art: Life, Work, and Art

Shaker--Life, Work, and Art: Life, Work, and Art

June Sprigg. Stewart, Tabori, & Chang, $50 (272pp) ISBN 978-1-55670-011-8

The Shakers or Believers, a celibate 19th century utopian community, have deeded their tradition of simplicity to American culture, most notably in the functional design of their daily routine. Today, Shaker boxes and furnishings are prized collectibles. In this handsomely designed and lavishly illustrated (200 color photographs) survey of Shaker communities, the full flowering of founder Ann Lee's dissidence from the Anglican Church may be viewed. Once numbering nearly 6,000 members, today fewer than a dozen brethren and sisters remain in two of the original 19 communities; Canterbury, N.H., and Sabbathday Lake, Maine. The even tenor of willingly regulated lives is evoked in the hour-by-hour inventory of a Shaker's day that opens the book. Then follows a simply written history of communal life centered on excellent, simple work and dance worship. Photographs of Shaker handiworkoval boxes, chairs, angel foodcapture this essence. BOMC featured bonus; Better Homes & Gardens Crafts Club selection; Interior Design Book Club bonus selection. (September 28)