Selling Shaker

BookSelling Shaker

Selling Shaker

The Promotion of Shaker Design in the Twentieth Century

Value: Art: Politics, 1


July 1st, 2006

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The Shakers – a religious community whose origins are founded in the eighteenth century – continue to exert an influence upon twenty-first century life, not for their religious teachings but rather through the simple yet elegant aesthetic they developed for the everyday artefacts they designed for themselves. Selling Shaker aims to explore this influence and chart its evolution throughout the course of the twentieth century via the interest shown by the media, art institutions and general public in the Shaker story. Whilst other books have sought to examine the origins of the religious or aesthetic basis of the movement throughout the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, this book seeks to deal with the Shaker phenomenon from a different angle. Selling Shaker examines the means by which the Shakers have been ‘promoted’ during the course of the last century by scholars and museum academics in order to establish a ‘national’ style. The book follows this process from high art to popular culture influences illustrating how the Shaker style has entered the general design consciousness and in doing so has become a generic style largely divorced from the original Shaker aesthetic. Using a variety of sources ranging from museum catalogues to contemporary design magazines, Selling Shaker aims to tell the story of the rise and rise of the Shaker phenomenon.

Author Information

Stephen Bowe is Senior Lecturer, Liverpool John Moores University. Peter Richmond is an architectural and design historian.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
1: Simple and Pure - The Early Promotion of Shaker Design in the United States of America17
2: Forms and Forces - The Penetration of Shaker Design into Museum and Popular Cultures79
3: Spirit and Function - The Infiltration of Shaker Design into Museum and Popular Cultures161
4: West and East - The Movement of Shaker Design into Museum and Popular Cultures from the West to the East229