Press Releases

Historic Shaker Objects in The Trustees’ Collections Featured on New US Postage Stamps

Harvard  |  June 20, 2024

HARVARD, Mass. – Photographs of some historic Shaker objects that are part of the collection stewarded by The Trustees are featured in a new sheet of postage stamps celebrating Shaker design available today at U.S. Post Offices.

The objects featured on the stamps are all housed at the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard. They include:

  • Harvard Shaker Cabinet with assorted regional Shaker boxes, 1840-1880, maple, pine, copper, brass, and stain.
  • Regional Shaker boxes and carriers, 1840-1880, maple, pine, copper, and stain.
  • Spinning Wheel, 1810-1860, oak.

The stamps honor the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the first Shakers in America and highlight the minimalist design of Shaker objects. They are available as a sheet of 12 stamps for $8.16 at U.S Post Offices or online at

According to the USPS website, “From modest oval boxes to furniture, textiles, and even architecture, the Shakers imbued everything they made with uncommon grace. These 12 stamps feature photographs of items that highlight the core elements of Shaker design: simplicity and utility.”

Art Director Derry Noyes designed the stamps with existing photography, including three photographs contributed by The Trustees. The photographs were taken by Michael Freeman for the 2001 book, Shaker: Life, Work, and Art. The book is a well-known resource on Shaker history and material culture.

Fruitlands Museum was acquired by The Trustees in 2016, and along with it came the extensive collections that had been assembled by its original owner, Clara Endicott Sears. The Shaker Office was built by the Harvard Shaker community in 1794. The Harvard Shaker Community closed in 1918, and Sears purchased and moved the building to Fruitlands Museum in 1920 and opened it as a museum in 1922. This would become the world’s first Shaker museum.

The Trustees’ Fruitlands Museum Shaker collection is made up of over 1,000 objects. There are also more than 15 linear feet of manuscript collections associated with the Harvard and Shirley Shaker communities in The Trustees’ Archives and Research Center in Sharon.

The USPS held a First-Day-of-Issue Dedication Ceremony at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Mass., today to celebrate issuing the stamp set.





More about The Trustees

Founded by landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees has, for more than 130 years, been a catalyst for important ideas, endeavors, and progress in Massachusetts. As a steward of distinctive and dynamic places of both historic and cultural value, The Trustees is the one of the oldest preservation and conservation organizations, and its landscapes and landmarks continue to inspire discussion, innovation, and action today as they did in the past. We are a nonprofit, supported by members, friends and donors and our more than 120 sites are destinations for residents, members, and visitors alike, welcoming millions of guests annually.