WAUSAU, WISCONSIN: Handcrafted Shaker furniture and objects that reveal the values of a distinct, historic culture fill Woodson Art Museum galleries, November 17, 2012 through January 20, 2013.
Clean lines, elegant simplicity, and purposeful design – hallmarks of the Shaker aesthetic – are evident throughout “Gather Up the Fragments: The Andrews Shaker Collection,” featuring more than 200 objects collected by Faith and Edward Deming Andrews. Enamored by the beauty of a Shaker kitchen they visited in 1923, the Andrews embarked on a forty-year quest to preserve Shaker items and culture. Passionately collecting objects both great and small, the Andrews produced exhibitions and publications that launched the field of Shaker studies.
Timeless Shaker design also inspires contemporary Wisconsin artist Jim Rose who makes furniture utilizing Midwestern scrap-yard steel carefully chosen for its patina suggesting aged wood and colorful quilts. A complementary exhibition, “Simply Steel: Furniture in the Shaker Tradition,” features furniture Rose creates in an old brick creamery near his Door County farmhouse.
“Gather Up the Fragments” includes household objects – tables and cupboards, textiles and tools – made by Shaker craftsmen determined to put their “hands to work and hearts to God” and to ease the chores of mid-nineteenth-century daily life.
The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, called Shakers because of their lively worship dances, was founded in England and brought to America in 1774 and focused on the three “Cs” – communal living, confession, and celibacy. Shaker societies flourished and faded, peaking in the 1840s with more than 6,000 Shakers in nineteen communities throughout New England, Ohio, and Kentucky. Today only one active Shaker community remains with just a handful of members at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in Maine. For more information about Shaker culture visit www.lywam.org/education/Shaker%20Pre-Visit%20Material%20.pdf
“Gather Up the Fragments” is organized by Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C., and funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. “Simply Steel” is a Woodson Art Museum exhibition organized by curator Andy McGivern with the assistance of artist Jim Rose.
Woodson Art Museum programs developed to complement these exhibitions focus on Shaker culture, beliefs, and pastimes, woodworking with both antique and modern-day hand tools, and Rose’s process for creating hand-crafted steel furniture. In a dual-artist residency, “Shaker, Rattle, and Roll,” local woodworker Mark Duginske leads programs throughout the exhibition, and Rose leads public programs for adults and teens and offers a gallery walk, December 6–8. Visit www.lywam.org for a complete listing of events and programs.
“Shaker, Rattle, and Roll” funding comes from a Community Arts Grant from the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, with funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board, Community Foundation, and the B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation. The Wisconsin Valley Woodturners and the Marathon County Solid Waste Department will provide educational programming assistance, materials, and wood.
Woodson Art Museum
Hours: Tuesday – Friday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
First Thursday of each month 9:00 am – 7:30 pm
Saturday – Sunday Noon – 5:00 pm
Closed Monday and holidays, including Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day
Admission: Always Free Admission
Location: Franklin and 12th Streets, Wausau, Wisconsin 54403-5007
(700 N. 12th Street)