Visitors Center Gallery
A Promising Venture: Shaker Photographs from the WPA will be on display in our Visitors Center during our 2012 and 2013 seasons. Click Here to visit the exhibit’s full webpage.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the US government established the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to put Americans back to work. Laborers built roads and bridges, and painters, sculpters and photographers contributed to the Federal Art Project. Seizing the opportunity to celebrate distinctly American design, artists were dispatched throughout the country. Photographer Noel Vicentini visited Shaker sites, documenting architecture, craft and people. His Shaker portfolio will be show at Hancock in 2012 and 2013, honoring his effort to endear the Shaker aesthetic to the hears and minds of citizens in America and around the world.
HSV Traveling Exhibits
From the 1920s to the 1960s, Faith and Edward Deming Andrews actively pursued Shaker objects, collecting mainly from the Shakers themselves. Their efforts resulted in numerous publications, nearly all of which were pioneering scholarly works that examined multiple facets of Shaker life, and launched the field of Shaker studies. Objects in the exhibition include several of the iconic Shaker gift drawings, but also textiles, baskets, furniture and rare decorative pieces never before exhibited publicly.
Exhibits within our historic buildings
In their quest to live in a heaven on earth, the Shakers created a distinctive material world. Unique dwellings housed men and women whose labors produced the furniture, textiles, and agricultural and household equipment in what we now call Shaker style. Spared from the ornamentation seen in worldly goods, the objects made by Shaker hands exhibit clean lines and functional grace. The beauty of Shaker style resides in its purity of design.
Fifty room-setting exhibitions are offered within the Village. These exhibitions accent the full range of Shaker daily life and show the Village’s collection as the Shakers would have used it. In the Brick Dwelling, you will see an infirmary with hospital beds, adults’ cradles and 19th-century medical equipment. In the Sisters’ Dairy and Weave Loft, you will see looms, spinning wheels and butter churns.
As you explore the Village’s buildings you will see the premier collection of Shaker furniture, crafts and tools. You will see traditional Shaker design – oval boxes, peg rails, quintessential Shaker chairs. You will also see things that surprise you – brightly painted furniture, a delicate child’s high chair. Room settings within the Village’s historic buildings allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the role these objects played in the daily life of the Shakers.