National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Shaker Dining Table and Chairs Shaker Dining Table and Chairs
Rendered by Lon Cronk (artist), c. 1937
watercolor and graphite on paper
overall: 31.4 x 23.8 cm (12 3/8 x 9 3/8 in.) Original IAD Object: 28 1/2" high; 115" long; 41" wide
Index of American Design
1943.8.13634
Not on View
From the Tour: Shaker Crafts from the Index of American Design
Object 8 of 17

The trestle table had its ancestry in early European styles. Shakers transformed the heavy, ornate style by narrowing and lightening the trestle ends to dimensions still sufficient for rigidity and strength. The variation they introduced succeeds in combining beauty and utility. This table was made especially long and wide to be used in the communal dining room of a Shaker village. The chairs are unlike those typically made by Shakers. The legs are bulbous with a pronounced taper toward the top and bottom. The spindles on the back, with a small diamond-shaped ornament, suggest the nineteenth-century Windsor style popular in the outside world. Made in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, these pieces reflect a more elaborate style than was common in most Shaker furniture. Even though the sect emphasized uniformity, difference among the communities were nonetheless evident.

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