Quaker Aesthetics: Reflections on a Quaker Ethic in American Design and Consumption, 1720-1920by Emma Jones Lapsansky
Pub. Date: 12/28/2002
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
The notion of a uniquely Quaker style in architecture, dress, and domestic interiors is a subject with which scholars have long grappled, since Quakers have traditionally held both an appreciation for high-quality workmanship and a distrust of ostentation. Early Quakers, or members of the Society of Friends, who held "plainness" or "simplicity" as a virtue, were… See more details below
The notion of a uniquely Quaker style in architecture, dress, and domestic interiors is a subject with which scholars have long grappled, since Quakers have traditionally held both an appreciation for high-quality workmanship and a distrust of ostentation. Early Quakers, or members of the Society of Friends, who held "plainness" or "simplicity" as a virtue, were also active consumers of fine material goods. Through an examination of some of the material possessions of Quaker families in America during the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries, the contributors to Quaker Aesthetics draw on the methods of art, social, religious, and public historians as well as folklorists to explore how Friends during this period reconciled their material lives with their belief in the value of simplicity.
In early America, Quakers dominated the political and social landscape of the Delaware Valley, and, because this region held a position of political and economic strength, the Quakers were tightly connected to the transatlantic economy. Given this vantage, they had easy access to the latest trends in fashion and business. Detailing how Quakers have manufactured, bought, and used such goods as clothing, furniture, and buildings, the essays in Quaker Aesthetics reveal a much more complicated picture than that of a simple people with simple tastes. Instead, the authors show how, despite the high quality of their material lives, the Quakers in the past worked toward the spiritual simplicity they still cherish.
- University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)
Table of Contents
|List of Illustrations|
|1||Past Plainness to Present Simplicity: A Search for Quaker Identity||1|
|2||From Plainness to Simplicity: Changing Quaker Ideals for Material Culture||16|
|Pt. I||Quakers as Consumers|
|3||Quakers and High Chests: The Plainness Problem Reconsidered||50|
|4||"All That Makes a Man's Mind More Active": Jane and Reuben Haines at Wyck, 1812-1831||90|
|5||Living in the Light: Quakerism and Colonial Portraiture||122|
|Pt. II||Quakers as Producers|
|6||Quaker Beliefs and Practices and the Eighteenth-Century Development of the Friends Meeting House in the Delaware Valley||156|
|7||Eighteenth-Century Quaker Houses in the Delaware Valley and the Aesthetics of Practice||188|
|8||Edward Hicks: Quaker Artist and Minister||212|
|Pt. III||Quakers and Modernity|
|9||The Aesthetics of Absence: Quaker Women's Plain Dress in the Delaware Valley, 1790-1900||246|
|10||Sara Tyson Hallowell: Forsaking Plain for Fancy||272|
|11||What's Real? Quaker Material Culture and Eighteenth-Century Historic Site Interpretation||287|
|List of Contributors||381|
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