How to select Shaker museums

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I inadvertently posted this to apbw, when I meant to post here. ------------------ I am planning a trip to the US in the northern summer and would like to visit two or three Shaker museums. The problem is that I see listings for 15 and I don't know how to pick the "best" ones.
Does anyone have particular favorites? Or better yet a web site or other resource that compares museums as to their quality, diversity/specialization, presentation, etc.
Extra points for a selection of two or three that are relatively near one another and that together give a broad spectrum overview of the design and construction of furniture.
My current principal interest is in casework rather than chairs, etc. but I have never seen a piece of Shaker furniture that was not interesting at some level.
Any help or pointers appreciated.
Larry Nelson, New Zealand
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Wed, Jan 2, 2008, 1:42pm (EST+18) From: snipped-for-privacy@docrec.com (LarrySpitz) I inadvertently posted this to apbw, when I meant to post here. ------------------ I am planning a trip to the US in the northern summer and would like to visit two or three Shaker museums. The problem is that I see listings for 15 and I don't know how to pick the "best" ones. <snip>
Hmm, do you think it might help to tell people just where in the States you plan to visit? Details.
JOAT If you can read this you're in range.
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J T wrote:

I have lots of flexibility so it's more a question of where do I want to go to find the most attractive/interesting things to see. This trip is very much in the early planning stages.
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"Larry Spitz" wrote:

My guess is if you stay within 200-300 miles of the East coast shore line and North of Washington DC, you will hit at least 80% of the places you would want to visit.
Lew
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Thu, Jan 3, 2008, 2:20pm (EST+18) snipped-for-privacy@docrec.com (LarrySpitz) doth explaineth: I have lots of flexibility so it's more a question of where do I want to go to find the most attractive/interesting things to see. This trip is very much in the early planning stages.
Ah. In that case, best I can com up with is the Smithsonian museum, if you get to Washington, D.C. Not much shaker stuff (if any, been years since I've been there), but loads of other interesting stuff. Best time to visit is winter, less tourists. LOL Have fun.
JOAT You can't always judge by appearances, the early bird may have been up all night.
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Larry Spitz wrote:

These are all within about 50 miles of each other:
Hancock Shaker Village - Pittsfield, Massachusetts Tyringham Shaker Settlement Historic District - Tyringham, Massachusetts Enfield Shakers Historic District -- Enfield, Connecticut Mount Lebanon Shaker Society -- New Lebanon, New York Watervliet Shaker Historic District -- Albany, New York
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Jack Novak
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Nova wrote:

Been living in Enfield for 25 years and this is the first I've heard of that one. Will have to walk through and take some pictures next time the weather's good. But it's not exactly a "museum"--all the remaining buildings are supposedly private residences and not open to the public.

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Be sure to post if you do. I get to Enfield (to buy wood) on occasion and I've never seen it either.
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The one I saw was Canterbury, New Hampshire.
If you are in the area, the Rhode Island School of Design has a major collection of 18th century furniture. They have secretaries that are valued in the millions of dollars. The school is in Providence, Rhode Island.
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I've been to this one. I think this was the first.
There are a lot of buildings still existing. One of the buildings is open furing the weekly craftfairs - they have a store, and a few specialized rooms/exhibits - like a room used to make brooms/besoms.
According to http://www.shakerheritage.org/calendar.htm tours can be arraigned if you have 10 people ($3 a person). I'm not sure if a $30 will let one person get a tour.
http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/shaker/wat.htm lists when they are open.
This fall they auctioned some wood stored in the barn for 80 years. The wood was planks - variety of woods and widths. Some were 10+ inches wide. Wish I had storage and money. (sniff).
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writes: | | > Watervliet Shaker Historic District -- Albany, New York | | I've been to this one. I think this was the first. | | There are a lot of buildings still existing. One of the buildings is | open furing the weekly craftfairs - they have a store, and a few | specialized rooms/exhibits - like a room used to make brooms/besoms. | | According to | http://www.shakerheritage.org/calendar.htm | tours can be arraigned if you have 10 people ($3 a person). | I'm not sure if a $30 will let one person get a tour. | | http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/shaker/wat.htm | lists when they are open. | | | This fall they auctioned some wood stored in the barn for 80 years. The | wood was planks - variety of woods and widths. Some were 10+ inches | wide. Wish I had storage and money. (sniff).
The main part of my woodworking club meets at this site each month. The wood auction was my club's annual wood auction... are you a member of NWA?
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No - just the woodturners group.
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writes: | | > | This fall they auctioned some wood stored in the barn for 80 years. The | > | wood was planks - variety of woods and widths. Some were 10+ inches | > | wide. Wish I had storage and money. (sniff). | > | > The main part of my woodworking club meets at this site each month. The wood | > auction was my club's annual wood auction... are you a member of NWA? | | No - just the woodturners group.
Oh... I'm involved with the NWA Showcase Committee and am treasurer for the Mid-Hudson Chapter of NWA... was treasurer for Kaatskill Woodturners Association for a couple years too but running three sets of books (the Hurley shop too) was TOO MUCH! LOL
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<<Hancock Shaker Village - Pittsfield, Massachusetts Tyringham Shaker Settlement Historic District - Tyringham, Massachusetts Enfield Shakers Historic District -- Enfield, Connecticut Mount Lebanon Shaker Society -- New Lebanon, New York Watervliet Shaker Historic District -- Albany, New York>>
The Enfield Shakers Historic District is in Enfield, New Hampshire, not Enfield, Connecticut.
I think the Hancock Shaker Village should be the cornerstone of any itinerary. Then it's just a matter of deciding how many other sites to visit and how much travel time between locations is desirable. One other place to consider, while not exclusively Shaker, is the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Massachusetts. Among other exhibits, it has a good Shaker collection.
Lee
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Link for the Enfield NH one is http://www.shakermuseum.org /. The Hancock one is number one to visit.
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Lee Gordon wrote:

The Enfield Historical Society, Inc. 1294 Enfield Street P.O. Box 586 Enfield, CT 06083 USA Phone (860) 745-1729
http://home.att.net/~mkm-of-enfct/EHS/EHSShaker.html
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Nova wrote:

Which has zip all to do with "The Enfield Shakers Historic District" and has little to offer anyone interested in Shaker furnishings. Most of it is the state prison and the Lego warehouse now.
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J. Clarke wrote:

"The Enfield, Connecticut Shaker settlement The Shakers are gone from Enfield, but their presence is still felt. Many items from the Enfield Shakers are displayed at the Old Town Hall, including boxes, clothes, furniture, and even a gravestone and horse-drawn hearse!"
The Old Town Hall Museum 1294 Enfield Street (Route 5) Enfield, CT USA
http://home.att.net/~mkm-of-enfct/EHS/EHSoth.html
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Nova wrote:

The "Museum" in question is about 2 hours a week for 6 months out of the year.
Why are you so determined to sell this? There are many towns that have had Shakers in residence. The OP wanted to know the _best_ and Enfield CT is not one of them.
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Took a ride down Cybulski Road today (supposedly all the Shaker activity was along Cybulski, Taylor, and Shaker roads). Short street, ends at the gates entrance to the Lego warehouse. Right almost abutting the Lego parking lot were three buildings, one I'm pretty sure was original Shaker. On the left was what looked like a typical local house, on the right near the road was a large brick building that looked much like the drawings and photos I've seen of Shaker buildings. There were numerous electric meters suggesting that it has been subdivided into apartments. Farther from the road on the right was a wood frame building in similar style. There were signs "uninvited visitors are not welcome" and the like, so I didn't investigate further. None of them appeared to be in particularly good condition. I didn't have my camera on me. Another day I may make another trip with camera.
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