Shaker Gift Drawing to be exhibited

2014 Spirit Drawing small
The Athenaeum has loaned a rare Shaker Gift Drawing to the New York State Museum in Albany for inclusion in an exhibition entitled The Shakers: America’s Quiet Revolutionaries.

Inscribed “From Holy Mother Wisdom to Betsy Bates” and dated April 11, 1847, the piece is attributed to Sarah Bates of the Mount Lebanon Shaker Community.
The 7,000 square foot exhibition will feature hundreds of objects, documents, and multimedia elements that will illuminate the lives of the Shakers in their three earliest villages – Watervliet, Mount Lebanon, and Hancock. Thematically divided into six areas, the exhibit will show how the Shakers’ unique model of an equal society challenged the norms of a new nation. This Gift Drawing was last exhibited in 2008.

The exhibition began November 15, 2014 and will continue through March of 2016; however, due to preservation considerations display of this original piece will end in March of 2015. For further information concerning this inspiring exhibition, visit the New York State Museum’s website at


About Berkshire Athenaeum

We are the public library for the city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
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