Avery, Giles Bushnell (1815-1890)

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Giles Avery came to live at Mount Lebanon with his family, who'd followed his natural uncle, Richard Bushnell. He first went to the North Family, then to the Lower Canaan Family, and then joined the Center Family in 1821. Like many Shakers, he worked at a variety of occupations including beekeeping, tending orchards, and bottling medicines, but was skilled in the trades of woodworking and tailoring. He is known to have made seed boxes, at least one sewing or work desk and, in 1873, a sewing machine counter for Eldress Polly Reed. He also served as a school teacher and caretaker of boys. In 1841, he became Second Elder and, in 1849, First Elder. In 1859, he became Second Elder of the Ministry, a position he held for the rest of his life. As an elder, he kept journals, and also wrote circulars and tracts for the Ministry, and an autobiography. He also published more than fifty pieces in the Shaker newspaper, The Manifesto. He worked unceasingly to maintain the property, fortunes, and membership of Mount Lebanon.


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Shaker Museum Avery, Giles Bushnell (1815-1890). https://shakermuseum.us/people/?id=55. Accessed on February 22, 2024

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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.