Cover image for The Shaker legacy : perspectives on an enduring furniture style
The Shaker legacy : perspectives on an enduring furniture style
Becksvoort, Christian.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Newtown, Conn. : Taunton Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
233 pages : color illustrations ; 31 cm
Subject Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NK2407 .B43 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
NK2407 .B43 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Solid construction and honest functionality make Shaker furniture one of the most popular and timeless design categories. Based on extensive research and personal experience with the last working Shaker community in Maine, this book traces the roots of Shaker design to Shaker belief, which inspired the clean lines, careful craftsmanship, and signature details that define the style. The author also discusses the less known Victorian period of Shaker design and shows how this style has influenced subsequent ones. A bibliography, glossary, and index are included.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Becksvoort, builder and restorer of furniture, offers a craftsman's perspective on Shaker material culture. Three essays cover Shaker contributions, culture, and style, placing the furniture in historical and visionary context. Relationships to Scandinavian, Japanese, and American design are developed, seeing "austere utility." Sidebars offer facts and listings such as Shaker inventions, tenets, comparisons, and construction details. Shaker furniture is an expression of faith; 18 major Shaker communities are examined with a picture of each and a listing of major woodworkers; the descriptions are divided into Shaker primitive, classic, and Victorian styles. A section on construction details design, woods, craftsmanship, joinery, moldings, turnings and legs, hardware, and finishes, with concise explanations and good pictures. Some 140 pieces are presented in this museum-like catalog; throughout, there are high quality color pictures from museums, restorations, collectors, and dealers along with crisp line drawings and old photographs. Bibliography and glossary of Shaker and woodworking terms. Jerry V. Grant and Douglas R. Allen's Shaker Furniture Makers (CH, Feb'90) is more scholarly, and Timothy D. Reiman and Jean M. Burks's The Complete Book of Shaker Furniture (CH, Jan'94) is still a major reference, but Becksvoort's book is a worthy addition. General readers; undergraduates; professionals. W. L. Whitwell; formerly, Hollins College