National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Shaker Woman's Costume Shaker Woman's Costume
Rendered by American 20th Century (artist), 1935/1942
watercolor and graphite on paper
overall: 40.4 x 30.6 cm (15 7/8 x 12 1/16 in.)
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Shaker Crafts from the Index of American Design
Object 6 of 17

Though Shaker dress conformed somewhat to prevailing styles, it emphasized simplicity. A favorite color used on wood and fabric alike was a warm brown made from butternut bark. Though subdued colors reflect the humble, self-effacing Shaker spirit, bright colors were not eliminated entirely. The woman's costume has tight, narrow sleeves, a triangular kerchief, and a bell-shaped skirt that completely obscures the figure. Even so, severity is relieved through the use of white and orange with blue trimmings. In keeping with their religious beliefs, Shakers rejected individualism in costume.

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