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Shaker Made (Hardback)

Inside Pleasant Hill's Shaker Village

P&S History > Social Science & Culture

Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Pages: 228
Illustrations: 182 b&w illustrations
ISBN: 9780813198767
Published: 30th June 2024
Casemate UK Academic


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Although there are currently only a handful of members of the Shaker faith and one active community in the world today, Shakerism at its peak comprised thousands of members living in communal villages across the eastern United States. Kentucky's iconic Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill was one of these communities, and it remains an enduring cultural touchstone. The history of the Shakers is often reduced to the handmade objects they produced and sold, but their lives were so much more than their material culture. Their efforts were suffused with their religious beliefs: each piece's sturdy simplicity memorializes the Believers' devotion to God and how it guided their every action.

Shaker Made is photographer Carol Peachee's love letter to the cultural artifacts - the architecture, furniture, and crafts - of one of America's most influential utopian societies. Peachee has photographed Pleasant Hill for more than four decades - from small items such as eyeglasses, embroidered handkerchiefs, elixir bottles, and bonnets, to the distinguished furniture and architecture of the more than 260 buildings that the Shakers built at Pleasant Hill. The curator of collections at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Rebecca Soules, provides an informative foreword to the photos, while Peachee herself offers a lovingly written introduction explaining her personal connection to the subject. The attention to detail in the simple yet beautifully composed photographs evokes the "spirit of the maker" and serves as an elegant and respectful tribute to the history and legacy of the Pleasant Hill Shakers - an often-misunderstood people who sought to honor the divine in all aspects of life.

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