The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, better known as the Shakers, is the most significant communal religious society in American history.

In the 1770s, the Shakers launched a revolution parallel to that of the American colonists against British rule. As the Shakers sought religious freedom, their spiritual beliefs and communal lifestyle set them in opposition to society. Later their product innovations and marketing skill seemed “revolutionary” to the outside world.


Today, the Shakers are recognized for their tremendous influence on American cultural identity through their social, commercial and technological innovations, decorative arts, and design.


Thematically divided into six areas, the exhibition shows how the Shakers' unique model of an equal society challenged the norms of the "outside world."


Settlement in America


Shaker Theology and
Religious Practice

Spreading the Faith,
Keeping Union

Comfortable Shaker Home: Being a Shaker

Shaker Made:
Agriculture & Industry

Enduring Design: The Shaker Influence on Design

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New York State Education Department

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