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Bellevue Arts Museum presents major exhibition on Shaker culture
Blue Shoe, Unknown Community, ca. 1840. Andrews Collection, Hancock Shaker Village. Photo: Michael Fredericks.
BELLEVUE, WA.- Bellevue Arts Museum presents Gather Up the Fragments: The Andrews Shaker Collection, a captivating exhibition of more than 200 Shaker objects collected over 40 years by Faith and Edward Deming Andrews. Gather Up the Fragments is on view at BAM from July 11 through October 28, 2012.

The Andrews were among the first to recognize the unique contributions of the Shakers, an almost‐vanished religious community known for the ecstatic nature of their worship, to American culture. The story of how they acquired and eventually disposed of their collection is a fascinating tale of intrigue, promises made and broken, relationships, friendships, ethics, passion and scholarship. From the 1920s through the 1960s, they actively pursued Shaker objects, collecting mainly from the Shakers themselves. Their efforts resulted in numerous publications, nearly all of which were pioneering scholarly works that examined multiple facets of Shaker life and launched the field of Shaker studies.  

Organized by and first exhibited at the Hancock Shaker Village (HSV), Gather Up the Fragments delves respectfully into the Andrews’ personal interactions with specific Shakers, mostly as friends, but occasionally as overeager collectors whose presence could verge on intrusive. Objects in this comprehensive exhibition include several of the iconic Shaker Gift Drawings, but also humble household objects, traditional textiles, baskets, kitchen implements, furniture and rare pieces never before publicly exhibited. Gather Up the Fragments illustrates that the sheer breadth and depth of the Andrews’ collecting activity assured, as the Biblical phrase from John 6:12, King James Version from which the title is drawn states, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.”

The exhibition examines the full scope of the Andrews scholarship, from their first article published in the August 1928 issue of The Magazine Antiques, through Faith Andrews’ summary of their Shaker pursuits. The story of the Andrews’ relationship with the Shakers is examined comprehensively and honestly.





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