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The Southern Culture of Kentucky’s Shaker Villages

Date: April 13, 2023
Time: 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Location: Filson Historical Society (In-Person and Zoom Options)

Kentucky’s Shaker villages, South Union and Pleasant Hill, drew converts from the South. Those converts brought their own well-established manners, customs, and cultural biases into a system that had been designed by Shakers rooted in the Northeast. South Union, in particular, had a difficult time adapting and, consequently, created a material culture and maintained a folklife that was unique among Shaker villages. From the food they ate to the furniture they produced, from the way they spoke to the way they constructed buildings, the Kentucky Shakers were set apart from their northern counterparts. Their story is colorful, humorous, heartbreaking, and fascinating.

Tommy Hines is a graduate of Western Kentucky University with an undergraduate degree in Music Theory and Folk Studies, and a Master of Arts degree in Historic Preservation and has spent his career as Executive Director of South Union Shaker Village. He has presented on topics related to Southern decorative arts at venues that include Frist Center for the Arts, Colonial Williamsburg, the Decorative Arts Trust, and for the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. Hines has also authored three award-winning exhibit catalogs, published articles in Antique Review and The Magazine Antiques, and contributed to other publications, including Kentucky by Design: The Decorative Arts and American Culture (2015) and Making Time: The Art of the Kentucky Tall Case Clock, 1790-1850 (2019). Hines received the Ida Lee Willis Service to Preservation Award from the Kentucky Heritage Council (2001), the Edith Bingham Excellence in Preservation Education Award from Preservation Kentucky (2018), and the Frank R. Levstik Award for Professional Service from the Kentucky Historical Society (2020).