Massachusetts's 18th century Hancock Shaker Village , a national historic landmark, preserves the community the Shakers, a dissident religious group originally from England, built on principles of simplicity, pacifism and racial and gender equality. Among their many legacies, is a unique unadorned, decorative style they applied to furniture-making, crafts and more. This unique aesthetic is on view at Stamford Museum and Nature Center's exhibit, "Gather Up The Fragments: The Andrews Shaker Collection" from Feb. 5 - April 23. It features more than 250 objects, including furniture, printed works, visual art, tools, textiles and small crafts. The Andrews Shaker Collection was the passion of collectors Faith and Edward Deming Andrews. From the 1920s through 1960s, they focussed their efforts on finding and buying Shaker items, securing many of their pieces directly from members of the dwindling Shaker community. Because of their interest, scholars began to take notice of the Shakers, their beliefs and lives.
"Gather Up The Fragments" also includes Shaker items loaned from private collections and from Winterthur and England's Museum of American Decorative Arts. However, Hancock Shaker Village says the Andrews Shaker collection, which provides the bulk of exhibited items, is also the most comprehensive existing collection. Among its many treasures, and on view at "Gather Up The Fragments," are several Shaker Gift Drawings (drawings based on inspirations or religious messages) including the frequently-seen Tree of Life image, and other household objects. Visit Stamford Museum & Nature Center to see how Shaker spirit and ideals are displayed in their exquisite, graceful objects. Hours are: Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5-$10.
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