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Leaving Manchester, England, in 1774 to avoid religious persecution, the Shakers crossed the Atlantic and during the next 50 years established 19 villages in the United States from Maine to Kentucky.
Guided by the principles of utility, honesty, and order, the ultimate goal of the Shakers was to create a heaven on earth in both their worship and their work. Consequently, careful craftsmanship, signature details, an dthe commitment to excellence are seen in every object they produced, ranging from free-standing tables, chairs, desks, boxes, and case clocks to built-in cupboards and cases of drawers.
The unique buildings, objects, and lifestyle of the Shakers has set them apart in American art and culture as a matter of course, but ever since "Shaker Handicraft" - the first major Shaker exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1935 -the appreciation for Americana and folk art has continued to grow. Today the spirit of Shaker craft, combined with its clean lines, solid construction, and honest functionality, make it one of the most popular and timeless design categories in the US and beyond.