34th annual Shaker Auction
In a house that once stood on Shaker land, Willis Henry walked into the living room on a dark, wet day. Sunlight sifted over the mountains, and a rainbow hovered on a wooden box—a Shaker box painted yellow. It took his breath away, he says.
Willis and his wife, Karel, have collected and auctioned Shaker artifacts since 1982, and they will hold their 34th annual auction at noon on September 10, 2016 at Hancock Shaker Village. They find objects the Shakers made for each other and to sell, he says. This year’s auction includes a desk from Enfield with a portrait of Shaker Brother Thomas Richmond and a revolving chair signed for Eldress Eliza Ann Taylor at Mount Lebanon, c. 1870.
The auctions have drawn people from across the country, including filmmaker Ken Burns; minimalist painter Ellsworth Kelly; and Oprah Winfrey, who came to a packed auction at the Shaker Museum at Mount Lebanon, took a seat in the front row, and bid on a collection from a house in Canaan, N.Y., that had been a dairy farm a mile down a back road when the Shakers owned the land around it.