"Shaker visual poetry" is a phrase used to describe the drawings that the Christian sect of Shakers made under the influence of the Holy Spirit. UbuWeb explains:
Between 1837 and 1850 ("known as the Era of Manifestations") the Shakers composed (or were the recipients of) "hundreds of … visionary drawings … really [spiritual] messages in pictorial form," writes Edward Deming Andrews (The Gift To Be Simple, 1940). "The designers of these symbolic documents felt their work was controlled by supernatural agencies … gifts bestowed on some individual in the order (usually not the one who made the drawing." The same is true of the "gift songs" and other verbal works, and the invention of forms in both the songs and drawings is extraordinary, as is their resemblance to the practice of later poets and artists.
The above, from the early 1840s, is just one of many such "drawings."
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.