Robert P. Emlen, author of Imagining the Shakers: How the Visual Culture of Shaker Life was Pictured in the Popular Illustrated Press of Nineteenth-Century America, offers insights into the book in this online chat on Zoom. To register for the event, click here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
In the half-century between 1830 and 1880, the visual culture of America’s oldest, largest, and most distinctive communal religious society was portrayed in scores of printed images published in the popular illustrated press. In this complement to his 1987 book Shaker Village Views, Emlen identifies and explicates every known engraving or lithograph that pictured the Shakers in the years of their greatest prosperity and before photography became popular in Shaker communities.
Robert P. Emlen is a Visiting Scholar in American Studies at Brown University and a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society. He is a former university curator and senior lecturer in American Studies at Brown. He was also a part-time faculty member in the Theory and History of Art and Design at the Rhode Island School of Design where, for 30 years, he taught “The Shaker Aesthetic” and brought his class to tour Hancock Shaker Village for an object connoisseurship session with the curators. His articles on Shaker furniture, architecture, landscapes, prints, and drawings have been published in Winterthur Portfolio, Antiques Magazine, Imprint, Old-Time New England, The Shaker Quarterly, and Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon Journal. His books include Imagining the Shakers: How the Visual Culture of Shaker Life was Pictured in the Popular Illustrated Press of Nineteenth-Century America (2019), Picturing the Shakers in the Era of Manifestations (2015), and Shaker Village Views (1987).
Photo: Susan Lirakis
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