Barlow, Lillian (1876-1942)

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It is not known how or when Sister Lillian Barlow came to the Shakers, but records indicate that she attended the Mount Lebanon school in the 1880s. She worked at the production of goods made for sale including sweet corn and other vegetables, but is now best known for running, with Brother William Perkins, the Mt. Lebanon Woodworking Company, which produced patterns, cabinets and carved wood goods such as picture frames and stools. Most importantly, she made chairs for sale, maintaining the business of production chairs at Mount Lebanon. For a time, there was an arrangement that she made the chairs, and Eldress Sarah Collins seated them. A series of photographs taken in 1940 show Sister Lillian demonstrating the use of the machines and equipment she used in the chair shop. She died in 1942, and was the last Shaker to make chairs at Mount Lebanon.


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Shaker Museum Barlow, Lillian (1876-1942). Accessed on December 6, 2023

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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.