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The Shaker Movement

Shaker furniture originates from the religious movement in North America known as ‘The Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing’. Shakers live and work together in communities where they create stunningly simple, beautifully crafted items of hand made furniture to ‘the glory of God’.

Shaker furniture is widely admired worldwide for its simplicity, innovative joinery, quality, and functionality. Shakers used to make furniture for their own use, as well as for sale to the general public. Though the three remaining Shakers no longer make furniture, they are very active people and enjoy activities such as cooking and drying and selling herbs.

Many examples of Shaker furniture survive and are preserved today, including such popular forms as Shaker tables, chairs, rocking chairs (made in several sizes), cabinets, and bedsteads. Collections of Shaker furniture are maintained by many art and historical museums in the United States and England, as well as in numerous private collections. Its appeal to the modern eye is undeniable, with a very ‘less is more’ feel throughout. The underlying principles of Shaker design have given inspiration to some of the finest designers of modern furniture.

The Shaker Movement Photograph by Joy Ribisi - Picket Fence. Sabbathday Lake, Maine Shaker Community Photograph by Linda Griffith - Dining Room - Hancock Shaker Village - Massachusetts Photograph by Peter Lemiska - Main Street in Autumn - Canterbury Shaker Village - New Hampshire

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