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Gather Up the Fragments: The Andrews Shaker Collection Features
Furniture, Textiles, Baskets, Boxes, Drawings
Exhibition Opens in Upper-Level Galleries May 20, 2011
NASHVILLE, TENN –(March 22, 2011)—Gather Up the Fragments: The Andrews Shaker Collection, an exhibition featuring more than 200 objects, including furniture, drawings, household objects, textiles and baskets from one of the country’s most renowned Shaker collections, will be on view in the Frist Center’s Upper-Level Galleries May 20 – Aug. 21, 2011.
The exhibition is organized by Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Mass. and is drawn from the collection of Faith and Edward Deming Andrews, who from the 1920s through the 1960s, assembled a large and important collection of Shaker art and pioneered the study of Shaker religion. The exhibition is the largest, most comprehensive collection of Shaker material ever assembled.
“We are delighted to be able to bring this magnificent collection of objects to Nashville,” said Frist Center Curator Katie Delmez. “With so much interest in Shaker furniture, and the presence of a Shaker community in Kentucky, we hope our visitors will take from this exhibition a deeper understanding of the inherent simplicity, craftsmanship and practicality of Shaker design and the culture from which it came.”
A chance visit to a Shaker kitchen in 1923 ignited in Faith and Edward Deming Andrews a passion that lasted their entire lives. After seeing and admiring the beauty of every item in that Shaker kitchen, they began collecting Shaker works, got to know many members of the United Society of Believers (the Shakers) and began a study of the culture that fueled their fascination with Shaker society. Not only did their efforts result in recognition of Shakers as a distinct culture, but through their relationships with New York City art world figures of the 1930s, they were able to foster appreciation and admiration for the Shaker aesthetic and reverence for simplicity. Through their collecting and scholarly contributions to the field, the Andrews both created and preserved a vast body of knowledge about Shaker society and culture.
The Andrews’ devotion to Shaker culture is reflected in the title of the exhibition drawn from the Biblical phrase from John 6:12 (King James Version): “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.”
On view in the exhibition will be a beautifully designed Double Trustees’ Desk, created in Mount Lebanon, N.Y. in 1840. The pine secretary was made to be used by two people at one time, probably a pair of trustees, who were appointed to manage the community’s business interests and interactions with the external world. Also from the community at Mount Lebanon is a wall clock made by Brother Isaac Newton Youngs in 1840. On the back of the face he wrote: “O Time!, how swift that solemn day rolls on/When from these mortal scenes we shall
There are six Shaker boxes and several other carriers in the exhibition, which were both used by Shakers in their everyday tasks and sold to interested outsiders. Even today, Shaker boxes are prized for their elegance and durability
“One has only to visit an antique or modern design store to see that Shaker design continues to be tremendously popular. It is clear that the design principles seen in these beautiful works are truly timeless and meld simplicity in form and function in enduring and extraordinary ways,” said Delmez.
Hancock Shaker Village recently celebrated its 50th anniversary as a living history museum and center for the study of principled living. The fully restored village includes more than 22,000 examples of Shaker furniture, crafts, tools and clothing that depict daily living in the Shakers’ City of Peace community during its 220-year history.
A hardcover catalog accompanies Gather Up the Fragments. It was written by Mario S. De Pillis, professor emeritus of American religious and social history at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Christian Goodwillie, former curator of collections at Hancock Shaker Village.
Gather Up the Fragments: The Andrews Shaker Collection was organized by Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, MA. Tour organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC. Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is supported in part by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and the Tennessee Arts Commission.
Friday, May 20 Lecture: “The Shaker Way”
6:30 p.m. Lesley Herzberg, collections manager,
Auditorium Hancock Shaker Village
Free; seating is first come, first served
Gather Up the Fragments: The Andrew’s Shaker Collection brings to the Frist Center more than two hundred objects created and used by the Shakers, a communal religious group that thrived in North America during the nineteenth century. Lesley Herzberg, collections manager at Hancock Shaker Village, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, will delve into the history of the Shaker way of life by discussing the group’s culture and its ideals of simplicity, living communally and perfection. She will also highlight the clean design, high-quality materials and impeccable craftsmanship of their handmade objects, which are the most visible reminders of the values and ideals of this intriguing religion.
Thursday, May 26 Gallery Talk and Shaker Music
7:00 p.m. Katie Delmez, curator, Frist Center for the Visual Arts,
Meet at information desk and live music by: Kindling Stone
Free with purchase of
The Shakers are a communal religious organization that pursues the ideals of simplicity and perfection in every aspect of believers’ lives. Gather Up the Fragments: The Andrews Shaker Collection includes more than two hundred objects—furniture, drawings, household objects, textiles, baskets and kitchen implements—and is the most comprehensive collection of Shaker material ever assembled.
Join us for this gallery program in which Katie Delmez, curator at the Frist Center, will offer insights into this fascinating religion, the people behind it and the objects included in the exhibition. Delmez’s presentation will be followed by members of the musical group Kindling Stone, who will explain the importance of music in Shaker worship services and also perform a selection of authentic and distinctive music written by the Shakers.
Friday, June 3–Saturday, June 4 Retreat to the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Harrodsburg, Kentucky
Depart 8:00 a.m. on June 3, return afternoon of June 4
$250 members/$300 non-members, includes transportation, food, guided tours, and lodging
Advanced registration required. Call (615) 744-3342 to register
Registration and payment must be received by Friday, April 22. Space is limited.
Travel back to a simpler time and retreat from the busy world. Experience the Shaker way of life on an overnight excursion with Frist Center educators to Harrodsburg, Kentucky, home of one of the few historical Shaker communities in the South.
The experience will include an informal introduction to the Shakers on a luxury bus, guided village tours and talks, a riverboat adventure on the Dixie Bell along the Kentucky River, Shaker musical performances, craft demonstrations by skilled artisans, an evening bonfire including traditional storytelling, overnight lodging in original Shaker buildings, outdoor activities and country meals.
Sunday, June 12 Kindling Stone and Friends: “Engaging the
2:00 p.m. Spirit of Shaker Music”
Free; seating is first come, first served
Come listen to Nashville-based Kindling Stone and Friends while they perform the music of the Shakers. With the exception of the Shaker tune “Simple Gifts,” this vast repertoire of early-American folk hymnody is generally unknown to audiences. Kindling Stone members Chris Moore and Mark Wingate have made it part of their mission to introduce new listeners to some of the nearly 10,000 tunes written during the 18th and 19th centuries by Shakers in communities from Maine to Kentucky. http://www.kindlingstone.com.
Friday, June 17 Shaker Oval Box Demonstration
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Presented by Dale McLoud
and 1:00–3:00 p.m.
Turner Courtyard (weather permitting)
Have you ever wondered how a Shaker oval box is made? Are you curious about the processes utilized in the making of these traditional containers? Then join Dale McLoud, owner of McLoud Joinery and a lifelong wood worker, as he demonstrates the techniques and tools used in the making of these notable boxes. McLoud will also recount information on some of the individual Shaker wood workers from the nineteenth century who produced a range of finely crafted functional objects for this intriguing communal religion that pursue the ideals of simplicity and perfection in every aspect of their lives.
About the Frist Center
Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., is an art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, regional, U.S. and international sources in a program of changing exhibitions. The Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery (open until 5:30 p.m. each day) features interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions. Gallery admission to the Frist Center is free for visitors 18 and younger and to Frist Center members. Frist Center admission is $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for seniors, military and college students with ID. College students are admitted free Thursday and Friday evenings (with the exception of Frist Fridays), 5–9 p.m. Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more with advance reservation by calling (615) 744-3247.The Frist Center is open seven days a week: Mondays through Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. and Sundays, 1–5:30 p.m., with the Frist Center Café opening at noon. Additional information is available by calling (615) 244-3340 or by visiting our Web site at http://www.fristcenter.org.