Sabbathday Lake Quartette

Contributed by United Society of Shakers


Pictured are, from left, Claire Chace (b.1884), Laura Bailey (b. 1882), Lizzie Bailey (b.1886), Mamie Curtis (b. 1883).

Among the most significant contributions of the Shakers is their rich musical legacy. Much of their worship is expressed through inspired "gift" songs. The Quartette reflects a new use of music within the community, for entertainment.

As part of this trend, prohibitions against musical instruments were relaxed. Clubs such as the Quartette were formed to train young people in the skills of singing, playing instruments and elocution.

Careful presentation of the subjects is evident in this photograph. The Sisters have been posed so that their varying heights form a gentle arc that counteracts the visual rigidity of the background and verticality of their dresses. Uniform hand and head gestures reinforce the unity of the group. The use of foreground flowers with a draped candle stand produces the sense of a social rather than a religious gathering.

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About This Item

  • Title: Sabbathday Lake Quartette
  • Creator: Wilson, Delmer Charles
  • Creation Date: circa 1900
  • Subject Date: circa 1900
  • Local Name: Sabbathday Lake
  • Town: New Gloucester
  • County: Cumberland
  • State: ME
  • Media: Photographic print, glass plate negative
  • Local Code: 381
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

United Society of Shakers
707 Shaker Road, New Gloucester, ME 04260
(207) 926-4597

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