Though founded in England, the Shaker faith left an indelible mark on American culture - from Aaron Copland orchestral suites to an enduring design aesthetic. Known for their simple lifestyle but doomed by their aversion to procreation, the Shakers peaked in the 19th century. In Harrodsburg, Kentucky, however it is still possible to experience “a retreat into a slower, more reflective way of life”, says Patricia Schultz, author of 1,000 Things to See Before You Die. There you’ll find the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, “one of the few restored Shaker communities where you can stay overnight”, she says. The Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill provides a glimpse into this part of American history, as well as a lot of lovely scenery - rolling hills, horse farms, stone fences and 3,000 acres (1,214 Ha) of beautiful countryside. (via BBC News - Five hidden US travel destinations)
Shaker Design: “The Tree of Life”, “Seen and painted by Hannah Cohoon. City of Peace, Monday July 3rd 1854”. It is the most famous of the “gift drawings”. To the Shakers, fruit-bearing trees represented the unspoiled loveliness of the Garden of Eden.
"I received a draft of a beautiful Tree pencil’d on a large sheet of paper bearing ripe fruit. I saw it plainly; it looked very singular and curious to me. I have since learned that this tree grows in the Spirit Land. Afterwards the spirit shew’d me plainly the branches, leaves and fruit, painted or drawn upon paper. The leaves were check’d or cross’d and the same colors you see here. I entreated Mother Ann to tell me the name of this tree: which she did Oct. 1st 4th hour P.M. by moving the hand of a medium to write twice over Your Tree is the Tree of Life. Seen and painted by, Hannah Cohoon.” . Source: wikicommons shaker workshops
Library assistant with young boy in Reading Room of National Library of Ireland, ca.1890-1910.