Shaker museum logo on a white background.

Shaker Museum

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

Monochord or piano-violin made by Brother Elisha Blakeman, Church Family, Mount Lebanon, NY
Unexpected Shaker
Exhibition open from Saturday, June 8 – Sunday, August 18 Kinderhook Knitting Mill8 Hudson St., Kinderhook, NY 12016 Fridays and Saturdays 10:00 AM – 5:00 PMSundays 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM No tickets or advance reservations are required. Join us for the opening on Saturday, June 8, from...
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PAST EXHIBITIONS

A painting of a wooden rack in front of a dark background.
Palm to Poplar: Devotional Labor by Caitlin MacBride
Exhibition open from Saturday, February 3 – Sunday, April 28 Kinderhook Knitting Mill 8 Hudson St., Kinderhook, NY 12016 Fridays and Saturdays 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Sundays 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM No tickets or advance reservations are required. Join us for the opening on Saturday, February...
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A piece of woven plastic cloth with a red, green, and blue pattern.
The Alchemy of Re.Use by hettler.tüllmann (2023)
Exhibition open from Saturday, September 30 – Sunday, December 17 Fridays and Saturdays 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Sundays 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM No tickets or advance reservations are required. Join us for the opening on Saturday, September 30, from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM.
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A red Bode sweater hanging on a hanger.
The Commercialization of Shaker Knits (2023)
Curated by Bode designer and two-time CFDA American Menswear Designer of the Year, Emily Adams Bode Aujla, The Commercialization of Shaker Knits explored the evolution of Shaker knitting, from 19th-century craft to profitable commercial practice, and its distinct and long-lasting impact on American athletic...
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A yellow dresser and chair next to a gray background.
Shades of Shaker (2022)
Shades of Shaker showcased the Shakers’ unique design aesthetic. The dynamic presentation of signature Shaker furniture pieces, clothing, household equipment, rugs, and textiles illustrated how Shakers used vibrant yellows, blues, and reds as part of their overall design vernacular. Most humans...
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A green wooden box with the letter dm on it.
Inscribed: An Exhibition of Shaker Objects (2023)
With Inscribed, Shaker Museum presents objects made of wood that have been marked in some way – with stenciled or hand-painted notations or incised by stamping or carving names or initials into wood – all of which provide information about how the objects were used, who used them, or where they were use...
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A room with a lot of white tables and chairs.
Fringe Selects: An exhibition of Shaker objects curated by Katie Stout (2021)
Through a selection of Shaker material chosen by artist Katie Stout from the Museum’s permanent collection, Fringe Selects explores the breadth of Shaker objects by taking a closer look at the objects on the “fringe”—colorful, ornamental, and less well-known than the minimalist, iconic Shaker pieces....
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A room with a dresser and a pair of shoes.
Shakers: In Community (July 17 - October 4, 2020)
When Ann Lee and a small group of followers left England and arrived in the United States in 1774, they established Shakerism as both a religion and a way of life. The Shakers were guided by core values of conviction, integrity, inclusion, and innovation, and they believed society could be perfected,...
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Shaker village work camp.
Shaker Village Work Group (2020)
The Shaker Village Work Group was a co-ed summer camp for urban teenagers that operated from 1947 until 1973 on a site formerly owned by the Mount Lebanon Shaker community. The campers, known as “villagers,” lived in and helped to restore Shaker buildings, created Shaker-style crafts, operated...
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Geometric abstract painting with a symmetrical composition of triangles and rectangles in a muted color palette.
Quiet March to a Warning Song (2019)
Quiet March to a Warring Song shared the work of nine contemporary artists whose work challenges or reveals headstrong histories or existing socio-political establishments. Housed within a Shaker Forge at the historic Mount Lebanon Shaker site, the exhibition reimagined the building’s past function. I...
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A painting of a house on a wall.
Granary (2019)
On view at the Mount Lebanon historic site from June through October, 2019, Granary was a solo exhibition by artist Amie Cunat. Cunat’s work reimagined the Granary’s historic function by reconstructing its storage structures and elevator with paper materials and vibrant color choices. As...
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A room with two paintings on the wall and a dresser.
LINE AND CURVE The Ellsworth Kelly and Jack Shear Shaker collection from Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon with prints by Ellsworth Kelly (2018)
In 1970, the American artist Ellsworth Kelly (1923-2015) wrote, “Everywhere I looked, everything I saw became something to be made, and it had to be exactly as it was, with nothing added. It was a new freedom; there was no longer the need to compose. The subject was there already made, and I could t...
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A collection of baskets on display in a museum.
Durable beauty: Baskets from Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon (2018)
Shaker craftsmen were highly skilled and their products were an expression of their worldview. Labor was a form of worship and it was the duty of each believer to live purely and to strive for perfection in everything they did. Baskets in particular are coveted for their simple, utilitarian forms and...
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A close up of a red blazer with a blue button.
Shaker dress: "Plain, comfortable, economical, and comely" (2018)
The earliest Shakers dressed no differently than their counterparts in the world.  The style of dress they adopted early in the 19th century was meant to ensure that Shakers were focused on matters of the spirit rather than the body and ego, and helped to keep everyone in union, feeling as an equal to one another...
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A woman working on a lathe.
Break every yoke: Shakers, gender equality, and women’s suffrage (2017)
When Mother Ann Lee outlined her theology for the community that would become known as the Shakers, she placed equality at its heart. As the nature of God was dual, both male and female, the children of God were to be brothers and sisters, each representing a share of God’s image. This fundamental...
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A room with a lot of black chairs in it.
Warmth: Shaker Stoves (2017)
Shakers, like everyone else, enjoyed warm homes and workshops in the winter months. Initially they heated with fireplaces but soon began using box stoves for their efficiency, safety, and cleanliness. A few days before Christmas 1793 the Shakers at Mount Lebanon noted in their daily family record that...
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A room full of tools on a table.
Work: Shaker Tools (2017)
The Shaker Museum was born out of a passion for tool collecting. The Museum’s founder, John S. Williams, Sr., when he moved to Columbia County in the mid-1930s began collecting tools related to farming and trades that supported farming. When he became aware of the Shakers still living at Mount...
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A group of people standing around a table.
Wash: There is no dirt in heaven (2016)
Who doesn’t enjoy sliding between freshly laundered line-dried sheets or wrapping up in a fluffy towel still warm from the dryer? Keeping clothes clean has been part of human life for millennia as have been the traditions that developed around this chore. “Monday we wash, Tuesday we iron, Wednesday we...
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Two wooden chairs on a white background.
Side by side: Shaker and modern design (2015)
Shaker furniture has been has been widely influential to modern furniture designers. Side by side: Shaker and modern design examined the idea of modernism and its connection to ideals of utopian social reform through the lens of Shaker and modern furnishings, with works by iconic designers such as Jens...
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Utopian benches (2014)
Utopian benches is about communalism as opposed to individualism. A bench is a seat that we share, it is also non-hierarchical, we sit at the same level. For this project, artist Francis Cape remade benches that were, for the most part, made for and/or used by communal societies. Cape made twenty-five...
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A collage of photos of people in a crowd.
Rock my religion (2014)
In 1984, artist, curator, and writer Dan Graham created Rock my religion, a 55-minute video presenting the story of the Shakers against the history of American rock music. Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon was pleased to have screened this work at the North Family historic site. Rock my religion draws a...
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An eye perspective at the shaker museum and library.
An eye toward perfection (2008)
Everything created by Shakers was done with the understanding that it reflected a commitment to earthly perfection. For Shakers, work and worship are synonymous. As a result of the Shakers’ constant interaction between the physical and spiritual worlds, the standards for objects they created in...
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A black and white photo of a person smiling.

Shane Rothe

Curatorial Associate

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.