Traveling Exhibits

Occasionally our exhibits leave Hancock Shaker Village to travel to other cultural institutions. Below please find information about our current roster of exhibitions that have traveled around the country or are scheduled to in the near future.

All exhibitions listed below are available to rent. For information, email Sarah Margolis-Pineo or call 413.443.0188 x232.

Borrowed Light: Barbara Ernst Prey

Artist Barbara Ernst Prey has an affinity for light — specifically, capturing the fleeting luminosity within built and natural environments. Borrowed Light presents a new body of watercolors depicting scenes from the Village. Taking its title from the Shaker principle of “borrowed light,” or the incorporation of windows and skylights into interior walls as a way to refract light from the outside in, Prey’s exhibition is inspired by visits across three seasons where she immersed herself in the buildings, historic artifacts, and landscape of this site. Her voice brings new consideration to the visual and haptic experience of this site, historically and today.

Each of ten large-scale watercolors, ranging in size from 28 x 40 inches to 40 x 60 inches, is imbued with light. The result is both pragmatic and sublime: the exquisitely beautiful works in the exhibition are an exploration of connecting to the universe in a larger and more meaningful way.

Borrowed Light: Barbara Ernst Prey was curated by Sarah Margolis-Pineo for Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The exhibition is supported by Herbert Allen, Duncan and Susan Brown, Paul Neely, Sheila Stone, and Balance Rock Investment Group.

A fully illustrated catalogue (Puritan Press, 42 pages) with essays by Sarah Margolis-Pineo and Charles A. Riley II, PhD accompanies the exhibition.

Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, MA (organizer)

May 17-November 11, 2019


A Promising Venture: Shaker Photographs from the WPA

This Hancock Shaker Village-organized exhibition, comprised of 187 objects with illustrated 239-page book, presents black and white photographs of Shaker settlements, architecture, and artifacts. The images poignantly document discreet communities and Depression-era America. Further, this exhibition showcases the previously unrecognized and little known work of Noel Vicentini (1906-1963), head of photography in New York City for the Works Progress Administration’s (WPA) Index of American Design.

As a government employee in the summer of 1936, Vicentini traveled in the northeast and documented Shaker life.  He produced an Index of American Design Shaker portfolio (full sets now in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC). The 187 works in this exhibition depict three Shaker villages: Hancock, MA, Mount Lebanon, NY and Watervliet, NY. Vicentini’s realistic photographs depict stark, black and white scenes of disintegrating buildings, aging sisters, and distinctive objects in aesthetic settings. (It is no wonder that Charles Sheeler was a fan of the Shakers.) Complimenting the framed photographs are a select group of Shaker artifacts, which allows venues the opportunity to recreate Vicentini’s images as separate vignettes and incorporate iconic Shaker furniture into the exhibition.

Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, MA (organizer)

May 2012-October 2013

New York State Museum, Albany, NY

February 14, 2015-March 6, 2016

Albany International Airport Art & Culture Program, Albany, NY

January 25 – July 25, 2019