National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Small Shaker Chest Small Shaker Chest
Rendered by Sumner Merrill (artist), c. 1937
watercolor and graphite on paperboard
overall: 22.9 x 28 cm (9 x 11 in.)
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Shaker Crafts from the Index of American Design
Object 13 of 17

Chests, like this one, were made for storage of blankets and other bulky items. Of the traditional features of chest design, only the slightly projecting lid, the reduced keyhole, and the slightly projecting base remain. In the place of carved or painted panels common in chests of the outside world, Shakers allowed the grain of the wood alone to decorate the immaculate expanse of broad surface.

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Artist Information

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