The Shaker Museum has opened a pop-up exhibition in Chatham, NY that explores Shaker culture through photographs, prints, and objects from its comprehensive permanent collection. The presentation emerged from a project, supported by the Theology Program, that brought together artists and scholars to examine Shaker art and religion and conceive of ways for the Museum to embody Shaker values—community, inclusion, and equity—in its mission.
The Museum’s collection of over 16,000 Shaker items is also available to explore online.
The Shaker Museum will open a temporary exhibition Shakers: In Community on July 17 at 17 Main St., Chatham. Through an array of photographs, furniture, prints, apparel as well as other objects in the permanent collection of Shaker Museum, this pop-up experience will examine the different ways in which the Shakers sought to forge equitable and inclusive communal bonds. The exhibition will be open Fridays through Sundays from July 17 through Oct. 4, with the first weekend reserved for Shaker Museum members. Entrance is free for all visitors thanks to the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation and Columbia County resident Jack Shear.
This exhibition is one outcome of a sustained initiative. In 2018, Fordham University in New York City received a $50,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation’s Theology Program to fund a project that explored Shaker art, design, and religion in partnership with Shaker Museum. As a result of this partnership, a group of artists, scholars, and museum professionals was formed to investigate these intersections within the Shaker context. Over 18 months in 2018 - 2019, the fellows explored the Shaker Museum’s extensive collection of Shaker material culture and spent time thinking about and discussing how to incorporate the values and spirit of the Shakers into the Museum’s mission and programming, leading in part to this exhibition.