The Shakers were a unique Christian group who fled persecution in England, arriving in America in the 18th Century. They believed that their founder, Ann Lee, was the second coming of Christ. The Shakers believed that God had both male and female aspects, and practiced equality of men and women at all levels in their organization. They were one of the first churches in America to integrate their congregations, involving both Blacks and Native Americans from the very start. Known for simple values, hard work, communal living and absolute celibacy, the Shakers went into a long decline during the 20th Century. They are only today represented by a few elders at one farm. It is difficult not to be moved by their sincere belief that any act, including dance, song, and even manual labor, can be an act of worship.
Characteristics of Shaker Furniture
- No ornamentation, every part had a specific purpose
- Simple Structures
- Straight Legs
- Finials on uprights and arms of furniture
- Perfectly Constructed
This Shaker Rocking Chair was adapted by using different shaped rungs in the ladder back. Additionally the adaptation utilizes thicker woods and paint which are uncharacteristic of the Shaker crafts. Finials on uprights are a typical Shaker characteristic that has been utilized by the designer of this adaptation. The Adaptations is obviously not of the quality of a true Shaker Chair.