Looking Back to Look Forward – a 2021 Gary Graham installation at the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield MA.

Gary Graham's work often engages with history as present-day lived experience. Inspired by the traditional Shaker cloak, one of many articles of clothing fabricated by the Shaker community in the early 1800s, Graham redesigned his signature cocoon-shaped coat in such a way as to celebrate the Shakers’ work ethic and their sophisticated design ethos of radical simplicity. Displayed in a serene period room at the historic Hancock Shaker Village, Graham's garments honor the Shaker cloak as both an object of beauty as well as a utilitarian covering that protects and shields. Looking Back to Look Forward's clairvoyant qualities cross time and space. Rooted in work, community, and craft, the exhibit explores the importance of place and of the way that tangible every day objects define our lives.