This is an in-person talk presented at Mabee Farm Historic Site as part of our “Crafted in Schenectady: the Building of a Community” exhibition. Admission is $10, or free for members, and includes admission to the exhibition and a tour of the Mabee Farm.
You may have worn a Shaker stitch sweater, seen a piece of Shaker furniture, or heard the “Simple Gifts” song, but did you know that Albany was the site of America’s first Shaker settlement? Women played an important role in all aspects of this utopian, egalitarian society, serving as religious leaders, dealing with business matters, and shouldering responsibilities for running the everyday affairs. In addition to working on the seed and herb businesses, the Sisters produced a variety of textiles and other items for the Shakers’ own needs and for sale to the World. Lorraine Weiss, Education Coordinator at the Shaker Heritage Society, will present a program on what “women’s work” meant for the Shaker sisters. As reflected in the journals, the Sisters’ craftsmanship evolved to respond to the changing economy and trends over the Shakers’ 162 years in Albany.