The Shaker movement in America began in 1774 when Mother Ann Lee emigrated from Manchester, England, with a small group of followers, and settled in New York State. Despite impoverished beginnings, the Shakers flourished in the early nineteenth century, and by 1840 there were four to six thousand members living in eighteen principal communities from Maine to Kentucky. Turning away from society, they lived in large families that were both celibate and communal. In striving for heaven on earth, they created a visual environment of such harmony and quiet power that it continues to impress observers today, when the Shakers have all but passed from the American scene. The many works presented in this beautiful volume reveal the Shaker commitment to excellence in all matters. The chairs, cases of drawers, work stands, baskets, oval boxes, wheelbarrows, stoves, looms, and even tailoring tools have a purity of form that transcends mere utility and elevates our appreciation of the object beyond a sense of function. June Sprigg, who has lived and worked with the surviving Shakers of Maine and New Hampshire, has studied Shaker life and art since 1972. For this volume she has drawn objects from forty collections, including extant Shaker villages, the work of some thirty known individuals, and as many artists who remain anonymous. Book jacket.June Sprigg is the author of 'SHAKER DESIGN' with ISBN 9780393023381 and ISBN 0393023389.