The Shakers: America's Quiet Revolutionaries
November 15, 2014- March 6, 2016
New York State Museum
The New York State Museum, in collaboration with the Shaker Museum|Mount Lebanon, Hancock Shaker Village, and the Shaker Heritage Society (Albany), as well as the State Library and State Archives, presents a major new exhibition detailing one of the most significant and influential communal religious groups in American history. Artifacts from these preeminent Shaker collections are exhibited together for the very first time.
The Shakers launched a revolution parallel to the American Colonies' struggle against British rule. As they sought religious freedom in America, their spiritual practices and community focus set them apart from greater society. Their devotional routines as well as their product innovations, marketing acumen and views toward gender equality seemed "revolutionary" to the outside world.
Thematically divided into six areas, the exhibit shows how the Shakers' unique model of an equal society challenged the norms of the new nation.
For more information on this exhibition, please visit the New York State Museum's website by clicking the image above. For any other questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan Graham - Rock My Religion
August 29 - September 22, 2014
In 1984, multimedia artist Dan Graham created an art video called Rock My Religion.The video draws a line from the enigmatic founder of the Shakers, Mother Ann Lee, through to the development of rock music and youth culture in America, and finally to the voices of individual artists such as Patti Smith. Through its rough aesthetic and collage of text over imagery, Rock My Religion presents a provocative thesis on the Shakers' place in culture, both past and contemporary, as well as the relationship between rock and religion.
The video is exhibited in the wood drying room of the North Family Wash House, originally built in 1854. through September 22. Visitors enter into an orientation gallery, then proceed to an adjacent room to view the 55-minute video.
Accompanying texts and information can be found in the Granary Visitor Center & Museum Store.
Dan Graham is an acclaimed writer, curator, and artist in many media based in New York City. His work has been shown
at major museums throughout Europe and America, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2009. In 2014, he was selected to create The Roof Garden Commission at The Metropolitan Museum of Art along with
The work and exhibition will be honored as the theme of the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon's annual Benefit Gala, on September 13 at Mount Lebanon Shaker Village. Please join us for a day-long celebration of history, art, and music capped by an evening dinner and auction in the historic Shaker Tannery.
For more information on the Rock My Religion Benefit Gala on September 13, please visit our events page.
Francis Cape - Utopian Benches
June 21 - August 11, 2014
Seven benches sit in an austere room. At first glance, they appear to be similar in design. A closer look reveals this to be far from the case. Each bench possesses its own unique qualities, owing to their creator, Francis Cape, and his utilization of designs from seven different intentional communities from both past and present.
Presented in the North Family Wash House at Mount Lebanon Shaker Village, Utopian Benches places the work of Francis Cape in the context of a Shaker village; three of the benches are based on designs from Shaker villages (South Union, Sabbathday Lake, and Mount Lebanon itself), while the rest are sourced from other communal societies such as the Community of True Inspiration in Amana and the Harmony Society. All visitors receive a gallery guide, "We Sit On the Same Bench," and are invited to sit on the benches and engage with the ideas they express - community, cooperative work, simplicity.
Utopian Benches is paired with a second exhibition, From The Collections, which consists of a series of Shaker items specially selected by Francis Cape from the Shaker Museum|Mount Lebanon's extensive collections. The items, ranging from a bed to a lap desk, all speak to the Shaker way of thought which inspired the artist's work.
Utopian Benches and From The Collections are both open to the public during operating hours at the North Family historic site (Friday - Monday, 11AM-4PM). Admission by donation - all donations directly support to the Museum's ongoing preservation work and educational programs.
From Mount Lebanon to the World
June 14, 2014 - March 8, 2015
Farnsworth Art Museum
In close collaboration with the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon and Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine is opening a major exhibition on the Shakers. The exhibit draws primarily on the broad collection of items from Mount Lebanon, and focuses on the community as the spiritual and administrative center of Shaker life. Using this lens, the show will present a historical overview of Shaker religious, social and economic life. It is the first major exhibition to focus to such an extent on the Mount Lebanon Shaker society.
While celebrating the history of the Shakers at Mount Lebanon in New York, the Farnsworth is also exhibiting objects from the communities of Maine in recognition of the state's own Shaker heritage. The Shaker villages of Alfred, Gorham, and Sabbathday Lake all produced remarkable works during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Sabbathday Lake continued into the 21st century, and today stands as the sole active Shaker community in the United States. Its members have been involved in the exhibit in order to tell their story, and Brother Arnold Hadd will officially open the show with a lecture in the Farnsworth Auditorium on June 14 at 1:00PM.
Farnsworth Art Museum
16 Museum Street
Rockland, Maine 04841
For more information on this exhibit, please click here. Visit the Farnsworth website here. If you have additional questions, please contact us.
The Great Stone Barn Project
Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon
The Great Stone Barn was the North Family's iconic structure, and the largest Stone barn in America when built in 1859. In 2013-14 the Museum will be undertaking a stabilization of the massive stone remains. The exhibition, in the Poultry House, traces its history, functioning and current restoration. To view the accompanying online exhibition please click here.
Please join us on June 2 at 7:30PM for a presentation at the Stephentown Historical Society with creator Peter Watson. For more information, contact us.
The Shaker Retiring Room
Permanent Collection at
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Before the North Family Dwelling House was taken down in the 1970s, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City purchased an entire retiring room from the Shaker building. It is now part of the permanent exhibition Period Rooms at the museum. You can learn more about the MET's Shaker room in this article. Or hear from one of the MET's curators on why she goes to the Shaker room to "escape."
Celebrate National Women's History Month:
An Online Shaker Sketchbook
Everyone has a story. Whether profound achievements or simple acts, great stories have something unexpected that is worth telling. In celebration of March, National Women's History Month, we feature the strange, funny, moving, yet not often told stories of 21 Shaker women. Read for yourself how extraordinary the stories of ordinary women can be. Each weekday a new Shaker biography will be featured.
Click on each of the images below to read the biographies of the Shaker women they represent.
Note: Some women may have more than one image associated with them.
All the image information is available in the biographies.