The Shakers of North America

John Ericson

13th October 2021

October '21 - Shaker Dance


The Shakers, or Shaking Quakers as they were derisively called, began as a small group of religious dissidents in mid-18th century England, but are now best known as a 19th century North American fundamentalist sect. By the 1850s there were some 6000 Shakers living in twenty communities across ten states: today they have all but disappeared, yet their influence lives on in interior design. To understand this intriguing legacy, John will look at the Shakers’ extraordinary story, exploring their origins, what they believed, and how they lived; he will also examine examples of their wonderful buildings and furniture, still so much admired.


John was formerly a lecturer at the University of Bath and Director of Studies in the School of Education, with responsibility for the professional development of teachers. He has worked extensively overseas as an educational consultant, and this has given him the opportunity to present lectures on a wide range of subjects at conferences all over the world.