Winter 2014-15

Shaker Museum|Mount Lebanon Awarded $500,000 EPF Grant for Historic Preservation

Click here to read the full press release.

(December 11, 2014) Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in Albany today awards through the state’s Regional Economic Development Councils, which include a $500,000 historic preservation grant to the Shaker Museum│Mount Lebanon. The grant has been awarded through the state’s Environmental Protection Fund, administered by the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and will be used  towards funding Phase 2 restorations on Mount Lebanon’s Great Stone Barn, a project estimated to cost $750,000. Last month, the Museum completed the Phase 1 restorations--a $2 million project that stabilized the structure. Phase 2 will add capping and flashing to the newly stabilized walls and will restore the main floor surface of the building, creating a monumental 8,750 square foot open-air space for public access, interpretation, programs, and events. 

A rendering of what the completed Barn project could look like. Photo: Peter Watson.

Click here to read the full press release.

Shaker Museum│Mount Lebanon collection to be featured at Maastricht Fine Art Fair and in new Book

Click here to read the full press release.

(December 5, 2014) - The Shaker Museum│Mount Lebanon will lend Shaker objects from its collections to an all-Shaker exhibit at the prestigious European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht, the Netherlands, in March 2015, being organized by art dealer Philippe Ségalot and Paris furniture dealer François Laffanour.   An accompanying book, Shaker: Function, Purity, Perfection will be published at the same time by Assouline Publishing.

Mr. Ségalot spearheaded the project.  Celebrated for his work in contemporary art, he first became interested in Shaker design and began collecting Shaker objects eight years ago.  He approached the Museum earlier this year about borrowing collection items to add to the privately-owned objects to be exhibited at the Maastricht Fair, which runs from March 13 to 22, 2015, and enlisted the Museum’s help in producing a new companion book on Shaker furniture. 

Click the photo below for a New York Times article on the upcoming European show:
Tailors counter from Assouline bookcropped.jpg
“Counter or Case of Sixteen Drawers,” ca. 1850s, Shaker Museum│Mount Lebanon.  Photo by Matthew Kroening.

The 144-page book will feature extensive new photography and information about the items that will be in the exhibit, as well as three introductory essays - “A Brief History of the Shakers” by Museum President David Stocks, “On Shaker Furniture” by Director of Collections and Research Jerry Grant, and “The Influences of Shaker Furniture on Twentieth-Century Furniture” by renowned designer and retailer Sir Terence Conran.

The Maastricht exhibit is one of a number of the Museum’s collaborations designed to showcase its vast collections.  Currently, hundreds of items from the Museum’s collections are on view at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, for the exhibition The Shakers: From Mount Lebanon to the World and at the New York State Museum in Albany, where The Shakers: America’s Quiet Revolutionaries recently opened in November.

Click here to read the full press release.

Fall 2014

New York State Museum Opens Major New Shaker Exhibit

From November 15 through March 6, 2016, the New York State Museum is displaying "The Shakers: America's Quiet Revolutionaries," a major new exhibition of Shaker objects assembled from preeminent Shaker institutions and collections around Albany, New York. The exhibit features over 150 historic images and nearly 200 Shaker artifacts, and is the first time all of them are being shown together in collaboration between the Shaker Museum|Mount Lebanon, Hancock Shaker Village, Shaker Heritage Society, and the New York State Museum, Library and Archives.

The 7,000 square foot exhibit explores the history, culture, and influence of the Shakers, how their unique society and innovations set them apart, and made them appear "revolutionary" to the World.

On Friday evening, November 14, the exhibit was opened by a reception at the State Museum. Guests and representatives from each of the institutions enjoyed food and drinks as well as a first look at the exhibition itself. State Museum Director Mark Schaming addressed the attendees, thanking them for coming to celebrate the important work being done through the exhibit, and hoped that they enjoyed the results of the multi-year collaborative effort. Among the attendees were US Congressman Chris Gibson, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, NY Preservation League President Jay DiLorenzo, and Town of New Lebanon Supervisor Mike Benson.

Shaker Museum|Mount Lebanon President David Stocks, with Congressman Chris Gibson and NY State Museum Director Mark Schaming, from left to right, at the opening of "The Shakers."

For more information about the exhibition, visit the State Museum's exhibition website by clicking here. You can also view a video trailer for the exhibit by clicking here.

Spring 2014

Wall Street Journal Calls the Shakers the "First American Modernists" in Review

"Anyone who has ever used a flat broom, an unadorned chest of drawers, garden seeds in printed paper packets, a circular saw or clothes-pins has engaged with Shaker aesthetics and innovations," reads the opening lines of a new review of the exhibition of our collection at the Farnsworth Art Museum in the The Wall Street Journal's Leisure & Arts page.

The review, written by art critic Lance Esplund, called the exhibition "uplifting" and said it "highlights American ingenuity."

To read the full article, click here. To view a larger version of the story, click the image at right.

Shaker Museum Acquires Land to Expand and Protect Historic Site

The Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon has closed on the North Pastures, a 61-acre parcel of land that originally made up the North Family Shakers' stone-walled farm fields. The purchase was made with assistance from the Open Space Institute, a conservation nonprofit, and New York State.

The expansion of the museum's historic site lays the foundation for the future. Newly acquired land in the North Pastures provides frontage to increase the museum's visibility, and the space required to build a new collections center. The North Pastures are themselves a part of the collection, containing within them the remains of the Shakers' massive stone walls, as well as a memorial carved into a stone, known as "JW Rock." This site marks the spot where, according to accounts Elder James Whitaker was thrown from his horse against the stone as he fled from a persecuting mob.

To learn more about the North Pastures and the museum's expansion plans, click here to read the full press release.

Shaker Museum contributes to new Book:
From Mount Lebanon to the World

The Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon is excited to announce The Shakers: From Mount Lebanon to the World, set for release July 1.

140416_ShakerCover-HiResThis major new book on Shaker history and material culture is designed as an accompaniment to the upcoming collaborative exhibition of the same name, opening June 14 at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine. The exhibit will feature a diverse selection of objects from the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon collection of over 60,000 items.

In addition to extensive new photography of the collection and the Mount Lebanon historic site, the book contains a new essay by noted Shaker scholar Stephen J. Stein, as well as contributions from the living Shakers of Sabbathday Lake, Maine.


Richly illustrated with a host of images coveying the breadth and depth of Shaker master craft and design, the book is the product of a collaborative effort between the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon, the Farnsworth, Sabbathday Lake Shakers, and Skira Rizzoli Publishers.

The book will go on sale at the Granary Visitor's Center shop this summer! Until then, we will be accepting pre-orders. Estimated date of shipping arrival is early July. Faster shipping options are available upon request.

$60, plus shipping.

269 pages, Hardcover.

To place an order, visit our online store, or you can send us an email. Make sure to reserve your copy of this special new book today, as quantities are limited!

To learn more about the upcoming exhibit, visit the Farnsworth website.

Shaker Museum Wages Great Stone Barn Adopt-A-Lintel Campaign

The Great Stone Barn at Mount Lebanon's North Family was the largest masonry agricultural structure in America when it was completed in 1860. Even after a devastating fire in 1972 that ravaged nearly the entire interior, the walls and rest of what remains remains as a stunning architectural accomplishment. In 2013, the Shaker Museum|Mount Lebanon began an ambitious multi-million dollar project to restore it, by stabilizing and rebuilding parts of its walls.

As part of this effort, the museum is undertaking an energetic fundraising campaign to reconstruct and repair the barn's lintels, as well as raise additional funds crucially needed for this project. Now, you can "adopt" a lintel by donating to the Shaker Museum|Mount Lebanon, and be involved in the restoration of this remarkable Shaker building.

Learn more about the project and how you can by help by clicking here.

Visit our donations page to make a donation now.

You can also help support the museum's work by visiting Mount Lebanon, and by attending our events and programs.

For more information, please contact us.

frieze Reviews Collaborative Shaker Museum Exhibit
The London-based contemporary art magazine frieze reviewed the Shaker Museum|Mount Lebanon's latest cooperative exhibition for its March 2014 issue. The exhibit, entitled "Simplest Means," opened January 10, 2014 at the Jeff Bailey Gallery in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, and ran through February 22. Combining contemporary pieces from eight artists with Shaker objects pulled from the museum's collection, the show focused on "shared visual affinities between Shaker design and reductive art."

To read the full review, click here. You can also visit the frieze website for more information, and the exhibition website to view more images.

Summer 2013

Museum Wins Design Award From the American Alliance of Museums

The American Alliance of Museums' 2013 Museum Publications Design Competition has announced that the Shaker Museum|Mount Lebanon has been awarded first prize for our Journal , in the category of a general scholarly Journal published by a small museum.  AAM is the country’s largest museum organization and accreditation agency.

Click here to see the entire Journal online.  Or better yet, buy a copy for yourself by contacting

Spring 2012

Shaker Museum and Library becomes
Shaker Museum │ Mount Lebanon

The Shaker Museum and Library is pleased to announce its name change to the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon.  The new name and identity emphasizes the museum’s strategic relocation and commitment to Mount Lebanon, New York, uniting the most comprehensive collection of Shaker objects and archives with America’s most important Shaker historic site.
Mount Lebanon

For 160 years, from 1787 to 1947, the Shakers at Mount Lebanon led the largest and most successful utopian communal society in America. From this central community developed the Shakers’ ideals of equality of labor, gender, and race, as well as communal property, freedom and pacifism. From Mount Lebanon also grew the now famous Shaker aesthetic of simplicity, expressed in their objects, furniture, buildings and village planning.

In 2004 and 2006, the World Monuments Watch named Mount Lebanon as one of the 100 most significant endangered historic sites in the world.  In 2004, the Museum acquired Mount Lebanon Shaker Village’s historic North Family– 10 buildings on 30 acres - with the goal of creating a new museum and cultural center focused on the Shaker legacy.  By 2014, the Museum will complete over $3 million in funded preservation projects, rehabilitating four significant buildings, while restoration of the surrounding landscape is already underway.

The Museum
Founded in 1950 by John S. Williams, Sr., the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon is the oldest public institution devoted to preserving and interpreting the history and legacy of the Shakers. The collection of Shaker objects is currently housed at its site in Old Chatham, New York.  The library is one of the country’s leading resources for Shaker materials, including manuscripts, photographs, and printed books and pamphlets chronicling over 200 years of Shaker life.