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From the twin spiraling staircase of the Trustees Office at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, to the round stone barn at Hancock, Massachusetts, the simple magnificence of Shaker buildings has never been better captured. Sprigg's poetic text provides insight into the Shaker way of life that lets you know Shaker hands touched more than just buildings. Shaker Built presents the architectural legacy of the Shakers, featuring their simple and functional designs for villages, buildings, and interiors. Shown are communities at Hancock and Harvard, Massachusetts; Mount Lebanon, New York; Pleasant Hill and South Union, Kentucky; Sabbathday Lake, Maine; and Canterbury, New Hampshire. Beautiful color photography provides the opportunity to visit these sublime places and to examine closely the color, feeling, and texture of what the Shakers built. Both authors have a special sensitivity to Shaker places and things, which they bring to Shaker Built.
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June Sprigg has written extensively about the Shakers since 1972, when she began to live and work with the Shakers in Canterbury, New Hampshire. Her major works include By Shaker Hands, Shaker: Life, Work, and Art, and Shaker Design. She has curated exhibitions on Shaker design in the United States and in Japan.
Among Paul Rocheleau's books are American Colonial: Puritan Simplicity to Georgian Grace; Farm: The Vernacular Tradition of Working Buildings; Harlem: Lost and Found; and Henry Hobson Richardson: A Genius for Architecture.
With over 100 books about the Shakers in print, the obvious question is, Why one more? Simply put, this is a lavishly illustrated book that adds little to scholarship but would make a splashy gift. It has been several years since the publication of William Lassiter's Shaker Architecture (1966) and Herbert Schiffer's Shaker Architecture (1979), but, unfortunately, the present volume is an advancement in style rather than substance. Apparently, nothing new has been unearthed about the origins of the Shakers' architectural ideas. Thus, much of the commentary consists of observations like "Afternoon sunlight pours through western windows in the Meetinghouse." Libraries with Sprigg's other fine Shaker books, By Shaker Hands (LJ 4/15/76) or Shaker: Life, Work, and Art (LJ 11/15/87), can pass this by until a more comprehensive book on the architecture of this utopian communal society is written.
Daniel J. Lombardo, Jones Lib., Amherst, Mass.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description The Monacelli Press, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB1885254032
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