The Shaker Village

( 6 )

Overview

The Shaker faith is estimated to have had a total of fewer than 20,000 members across its 250-year history, yet more than 100,000 people visit the various Shaker villages and museums scattered across the eastern United States every year. We are still fascinated with the world of the Shakers, and authentic examples of Shaker architecture, furniture, and crafts are prized wherever they remain.

In The Shaker Village, author and photographer Raymond Bial brings readers the history ...

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Overview

The Shaker faith is estimated to have had a total of fewer than 20,000 members across its 250-year history, yet more than 100,000 people visit the various Shaker villages and museums scattered across the eastern United States every year. We are still fascinated with the world of the Shakers, and authentic examples of Shaker architecture, furniture, and crafts are prized wherever they remain.

In The Shaker Village, author and photographer Raymond Bial brings readers the history of the Shaker religion and an examination of the Shaker way of life, which was based on cooperation and self-sufficiency. Each Shaker village was built with the goal of creating a heaven on earth for its inhabitants. The Shaker people were among the first in America to apply science and new learning directly to traditional farming and homekeeping. They invented or improved significantly upon designs of many farm and household items, including some still used today: the flat broom, the slotted spoon, the circular saw, and the idea of selling gardening seeds in packets. Although each Shaker community was self-supporting, the Shakers' success at applying their core values -- simplicity, utility, and tranquility -- carried Shaker villages to a point of abundance: they were able to export their beautiful furniture, delicious foods, and superior wares to the outside world, where they have been appreciated ever since.

The Shaker Village is generously illustrated with Bial's evocative photographs of buildings and artifacts from the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, one of the largest and best-preserved Shaker sites. The Shaker movement reached its peak in the mid-nineteenth century. Membership began to drop with the onset of the Civil War, and as the new promise of industrialization began to take hold in America, Shaker numbers steadily dwindled. Although the Shaker religion has all but departed, The Shaker Village captures a revelatory glimpse of a legacy that still resounds with modern Americans.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

""[Bial's] eye for color, depth and contrast do an excellent job of capturing the life of the community." --Bowling Green Daily News" --

Library Journal

Although the last remaining active Shaker community, with its four members, is in New Gloucester, ME, the Shakers continue to fascinate modern readers. Author and photographer Bial's latest book offers a wonderful introduction to Shaker belief, history, and lifestyle. Bial focuses on the historic Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, KY, one of the largest and best-preserved sites. Shakers were known for their simple lifestyle, which for them meant little or no ornamentation or embellishment. This also describes Bial's photographs and thoughtful text, which perfectly mirror the philosophy of the Shakers. The photographs highlight the simplicity of style, innovativeness, and creativity of Shaker architecture, furniture, and crafts and reinforce the lasting legacy of Shaker communities. Though this is an excellent introductory volume for children or young adults, its appeal will not be limited by age. The familiar 18th-century Shaker song "'Tis a Gift To Be Simple" ably describes this delightful book. Highly recommended.
—Nancy Richey

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813124896
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 48
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Raymond Bial has published more than eighty books of photographs, including Amish Home and Mist over the Mountains: Appalachia and Its People. He lives in Urbana, Illinois, with his wife and children.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 6, 2012

    i visited the shaker village and then read the book WONDERFUL!

    i visited the shaker village and then read the book WONDERFUL!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013


    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    Kayla

    Hums to the music

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Lexi

    Sits down. She stares t the cross.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    Kristi

    *hugs him tightly* u promise!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 6 Customer Reviews

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