A great article appeared in last weekends Wall Street Journal. The historic significance of this classic piece of Americana, and the adoption of the Shaker style to modern design, embodies our vision for our first Exhibition in "The Dock" showroom.
A brief excerpt from the original WSJ article is below, the original article in it's completion can be found here.
AT THEIR PEAK in the mid-19th century, the Shakers—a utopian offshoot of pacifist Protestants officially known as the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing—included as many as 6,000 members across 19 communities from Maine to Kentucky. But even though their puritanical beliefs never quite achieved “Chicken Soup for the Soul”-type popularity (they all took vows of celibacy and shared their possessions equally, a hard sell in the 1800s, let alone today), the simple, functional furniture that their craftsmen built has remained a paragon of American design. And, if today’s furniture is any indication, it’s more influential than ever.
Designers are taking other liberties, too. Shanghai studio Neri&Hu harked back to earlier, cruder, even more ornament-free versions of the minimalist furniture when creating its Shaker Dining Chair, which debuted in February. “Superficially, it looks like a Shaker chair,” said co-founder Lyndon Neri, yet this jauntier but equally well-crafted interpretation eschews the original’s hand-carved dovetailed joints and teardrop finials. It also completely reimagines the woven seat and the bottom rung of the chair, two of the most recognizable visual cues of Shaker style, along with bonnets, horse-drawn carriages and the elegantly patterned dances the men and women would perform to worship songs such as “Simple Gifts,” in their airy, barnlike meeting houses.