We Sit Together: Utopian Benches from the Shakers to the Separatists of Zoar

We Sit Together: Utopian Benches from the Shakers to the Separatists of Zoar

by Francis Cape
     
 

Whether for protest, religious congress, companionship, eating, or comfort, sitting communally remains one of the most powerful and prevalent of human social activities. This simple act held special significance in numerous utopian communities that emerged in nineteenth-century America, and was given physical presence in the form of a variety of styles of wooden… See more details below

Overview

Whether for protest, religious congress, companionship, eating, or comfort, sitting communally remains one of the most powerful and prevalent of human social activities. This simple act held special significance in numerous utopian communities that emerged in nineteenth-century America, and was given physical presence in the form of a variety of styles of wooden benches. Fascinated by these expressions of harmony and equality, renowned British artist Francis Cape sought out and made measured drawings of remaining examples. We Sit Together presents twenty-five of Cape's beautifully reconstructed benches drawn from twenty utopian sects—active from 1732 to the present—ranging from well-known communities like the Shakers to more obscure groups like the Separatists of Zoar. Featuring crisp photographs and lovingly handmade drawings, this rarely seen slice of Americana will appeal to the collector, woodworker, student of American history, or anyone who just likes to take a seat.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A fascinating book." - The Daily Beast

"Highly entertaining." - New York Observer

"Furniture lovers will be intrigued, as I was, with an exquisite group of reconstructed benches appearing in We Sit Together: Utopian Benches From the Shakers to the Separatists of Zoar, by famed artist Francis Cape. I can't explain it, but staring at these spartan designs -- indeed, they are sculptures -- brought me a sense of the serenity undoubtedly embodied in the communities that inspired these works." - San Jose Mercury News

"Francis Cape may be the first person to physically investigate how different designs facilitated different social practices." - Forbes.com

"An engaging tour of craft, technology, and community." - New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616891596
Publisher:
Princeton Architectural Press
Publication date:
06/11/2013
Pages:
112
Sales rank:
915,307
Product dimensions:
6.75(w) x 8.75(h) x 0.50(d)

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