Studio International

Published 22/05/2008

1. For the most part, Shakers believed in sharing their discoveries with non-believers, who made up lucrative markets for Shaker products. Unfortunately, some manufacturers, applying the worldly practice of copying, forced some communities to apply for patents.
2. See exhibition catalogue essay, 'The Problem of Female Leadership in Early Shakerism' by Jean M. Humez in Burks JM (ed). Shaker Design: Out of this World. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007: 94-98.
3. Ibid.: 3. In his catalogue essay, 'Shaker Villages and the Landscape of "Gosepl Order'' Robert P Emlen says that visitors to Shaker communities frequently observed that 'Shaker communities in the middle of the nineteenth century had a distinctive appearance of prosperity, unity of design and orderliness that set them apart from their neighboring farmers and villages. This appearance was a manifestation of the distinctive thought, belief and behavior that governed life in a Shaker community. The believers themselves called this way of life "living in Gospel Order''.
4. Quoted from Flo Morse, 'The Shakers and the World's People'. In: Shaker Design: Out of this World. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1987: 54.
5. Ibid.: 55.
6. At the height of the craze for Fancy in the 1840s, Charles Dickens came to America and visited a Shaker village. At that time, he equated 'plain' with the unimaginative, saying, 'We walked into a grim room, where several grim hats were hanging on grim pegs, and the time was grimly told by a grim clock'. Quoted from The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit and American Notes, vol 2. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1894. In Shaker Design: Out of this World: 166.
7. For information about the Sabbathday Lake community in New Gloucester, Maine, visit their Web site ( from which herbal tea, potpourris, culinary spices and balsam pillows made there by the Shakers can be purchased.