Hancock Shaker Village Receives NEH Grant to Assess Condition of 19th Century Gift Drawings

(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) — Hancock Shaker Village received a National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistance Grant for $6,000, the maximum award, to have its 25 historic Shaker Gift Drawings assessed by a paper specialist at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center. The paper medium of these visionary images is particularly fragile. The museum seeks a conservator’s formal physical examination and recommendations. From those findings, the museum will create a plan for long-term care of the collection. Additional outside funds will be needed to implement the specialist’s recommendations and plan (e.g. for repairs of tears or stabilization of an image).

“The iconic Shaker Gift Drawings are of intense interest to curators and scholars nationwide,” said Hancock Shaker Village President Linda Steigleder. “It is imperative that the museum preserve them so that that these special Shaker-made expressions can be made available for study and for enjoyment by future generations.”

“Focused grants like this one are essential to institutions like Hancock,” added the museum’s curator, Lesley Herzberg. “They provide the documentary evidence we need to properly care for and make use of our collection. These drawings are extremely rare and unique, and the conservation assessment allows us to be good stewards of these works of art.”

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