The Shaker movement in America was founded by Ann Lee, a member of a religious sect near Manchester, England, that prophesized the imminent second appearance of Christ on earth. They were referred to as "Shaking Quakers" due to their ecstatic movements during worship. Ann Lee immigrated to America in 1774, and with a small, devoted group of followers preached that the transformation and judgment of the world had begun. In 1787, three years after Ann's death, her followers established their first communal village at Mount Lebanon, New York, which until 1947 was the central authority governing the Shaker movement in America. The Shaker Church formed nineteen cloistered communities, throughout New England and the Midwest, designed to practice perfection on earth, based on early Christian principles of shared property, celibacy, direct revelation and public confession of sin. A small community continues at Sabbathday Lake, Maine.
In August 2011, the artists Ellsworth Kelly and Jack Shear shared their views on Shaker design and architecture with David Stocks and Jerry Grant of the Shaker Museum and Library, Old Chatham, New York.
This 17-minute film beautifully documents their exchanges, richly enhanced with archival photos of Shaker life and architecture and a variety of Ellsworth Kelly's and Jack Shear's work.