Collections

Overview

Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon collects, preserves, and interprets the premier collection of Shaker artifacts in the world.

The museum's holdings span over 200 years related to all aspects of the American Shakers. More than 80 percent was acquired directly from Shaker communities. A decade of passionately collecting materials led John S. Williams, Sr., to open a museum in 1950 in order to share the unique Shaker story with the public.

During that decade Williams had collected materials from then-active Shaker communities and had formed close relationships with members of the Shaker sect – relationships that led to their cooperation in forming a collection that represented the Shakers “as people of extreme faith and as artisans whose work had an extraordinary aesthetic quality.”

The museum today continues to add to the collection through gift and purchase.

Browse the categories in the menu above to see highlights from the collection, and visit the Library page for information on art, photographs, and archival materials.

The museum has begun to place its collection catalog online.