Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Shaker Village Finds Enterprise Is Not So Simple

By Brian Schaefer
Shaker oval boxes and furniture have been the sect’s cultural calling card. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times
MASSACHUSETTS---Ms. Steigleder believes that, more than ever, the Shakers have something to share with society. In the two years since Ms. Steigleder’s arrival, Hancock Shaker Village, on a bare-bones budget, has returned to operating in the black. The days of deficit spending are over, Ms. Steigleder said, and there is a sense of cautious optimism about the future. Several other small but notable developments feed the sense of a resurging interest in the Shakers: a new exhibition at the New York State Museum in Albany (through March 6, 2016); a show at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Me. (through March 8); a glossy book, The Shakers: From Mount Lebanon to the World (Rizzoli); and a well-received production by the Wooster Group, “Early Shaker Spirituals,” that returns to New York in April. [link]