The Shakers were widely known in the 19th century as America's largest and most successful communal, religious, utopian sect. They lived in 24 large communities throughout the northeastern United States from the late 18th century until the mid-20th century. At their peak there were 4,000 to 6,000 members. Today, fewer than a dozen Shakers remain.
Crafting Utopia originates from the collection of the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, a living history museum of Shaker life, crafts and farming. This exhibition comprises 115 beautifully crafted objects, including unique wooden ware and household objects, costumes and textiles, furnishings and graphics for Shaker products — the objects used in daily life that defined the collective chores assigned to the women in the community. This exhibition reveals the influence that women exercised in the development of the Shakers.
A traveling exhibition organized by International Arts & Artists, Inc., Washington DC, from the collection of the Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.