Stillness and Light: The Silent Eloquence of Shaker Architecture

Author(s): Henry Plummer


Shaker buildings have long been admired for their simplicity of design and sturdy craftsmanship, with form always following function. Over the years, their distinctive physical characteristics have invited as much study as imitation. Their clean, unadorned lines have been said to reflect core Shaker beliefs such as honesty, integrity, purity, and perfection. In this book, Henry Plummer focuses on the use of natural light in Shaker architecture, noting that Shaker builders manipulated light not only for practical reasons of illumination but also to sculpt a deliberately spiritual, visual presence within their space. "Stillness and Light" celebrates this subtly beautiful aspect of Shaker innovation and construction, captured in more than 100 stunning photographs.


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Discusses how natural light suffuses Shaker design

Henry Plummer is Professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is also an associate of the Center for Advanced Study. He is author of Poetics of Light, Light in Japanese Architecture, and The Architecture of Natural Light.

Preface; Acknowledgments Introduction: Shaker Light--Building a State of Grace 1. Simplicity--Pristine Light: Monotone Mass; Pure White Cavity; Framed Whiteness; Between Wood and Plaster; Wooden Cavern 2. Order--Focused Light: Mesmerizing Window; Incantation; Concentric Tonalities; Double Helix; Twin Skylights; Flying Staircase; Tiered Skylights 3. Luminosity--Inner Light: Maximum Fenestration; Interior Shutters; White Kentucky Limestone; White-Painted Stonework; White on White; Yellow Light; Lustrous Wood; Clasped Light; Attic Dormer; Cupola 4. Equality--Shared Light: Transom Window; Interior Window; Double Window; Enfilade of Openings; Lattice of Light 5. Time--Cyclic Light: Shadow Play on Limestone; Spectral Colors; Tree Shadows; Splashes of Sun; Coexisting Times States; Golden Cast; Revolving Light and Color; Crossfire of Sun I; Crossfire of Sun II; Light Orchestration Bibliography

General Fields

  • : 9780253353627
  • : Indiana University Press
  • : Indiana University Press
  • : August 2009
  • : 260mm X 260mm X 20mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 152
  • : Hardback
  • : Henry Plummer