Shaker Built – The Form and Function of Shaker Architecture.
New York, The Monacelli Press, 1994. 25 cm x 29.8 cm. 272 pages. With numerous full-colour photographs throughout. Original Hardcover with original dustjacket in protective collector’s mylar. Very good condition with only minor signs of external wear. Some loose pages near front of book. Binding firm and strong otherwise. Interior bright and clean.
Includes, for example, the following: Introduction: Dawn to Midday / The Builders / The Family / At Home / At Work / In Between / Twilight into Dawn: The Loss and Renewed Life of Shaker Buildings etc.
In the 19th Century, the Shakers were famous as the most successful utopian communal society in the United States. Social reformers from Emerson to Tolstoy hailed their progressiveness in issues including equality of the sexes, care of children, and the aged, and pacifism. The Shakers loved God and each other and worked devotedly to build a physical and spiritual haven apart from the complications and competitions of “the world.” With astonishing energy and simple goodness, they created a network of eighteen principal villages from Maine to Kentucky and established America’s only truly national utopian effort.
Today, the Shakers are almsot gone. But their buildings and villages survive to reveal their dedication to their founder’s instruction, “Put your hands to work and your hearts to God and a blessing will attend you.” They shunned what they judged wasteful and unncessary, including ornament, devoting their creativity instead to what was useful and well made. Within the discipline of simplicity, Shaker artisans expressed genius in proportion, line, pattern, form and colour. In stone and wood and brick, Shaker buildings embody an amazing grace and are one of America’s design treasures. Today, Shaker design is a source of inspiration in America, Europe, and Japan.