As demand for utility baskets waned, Shakers began looking to new forms. Prevailing Victorian tastes favored frills and surface adornment over good construction. Shaker doctrine, however, forbade them from making items which “are superfluously furnished, trimmed, or ornamented.” By using quality materials and maintaining high standards of craftsmanship, Shakers incorporated decorative details without succumbing to excess.
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.