When Polly Reed was seven, Shaker missionaries came to her parents’ home. Though her parents could not commit to the Shaker way of life, their daughter was ready to join. Her parents consented, and she spent the rest of her life at Mount Lebanon. One of the missionaries said, “She was about the bravest and most spunky little one I ever saw.” As a young woman, she was a teacher whose innovations included allowing organized play and taking girls on educational outings that introduced them to some of the industries that supported the Mount Lebanon community, including a tannery and a botanical garden. During the Era of Manifestations, she became known as a creator of gift drawings: visions from the spirit world given to the living.
Shane Rothe (they/them) joined Shaker Museum in July 2023, working with independent curator Maggie Taft on an exhibition for the new museum space in Chatham. Shane is an artist as well as a curator and continues to create in the mediums of painting, sculpture, writing, and performance. Shane holds a BFA from CalArts and an MA in art history and curatorial studies from the University of Chicago.