JOHN PHELAN | Seats and Chairs

January 6 - February 18, 2017 

Opening Reception: Friday, January 6, 6-9pm


Selected from a collection of over 17,000 snapshots and a large group of Shaker furniture amassed over a 20 year period, John Phelan’s SEATS & CHAIRS offers up a contrast between the sacred and the profane, craft and art, the intentional and the inadvertent and in doing so seeks to blur their very definitions. 

The Shakers strove for perfection in everything that they did and furniture making was no exception. Rather, it epitomizes their ideal of worshiping God through work. Each chair, an individual prayer. The chairs featured are rare, unrestored examples from various Shaker communities which were created between 1820 and 1860, the so-called "Golden Age" of Shaker furniture making. 

Snapshots are the greatest treasure trove of undiscovered artworks available. They are unique celebrations of the accidental and unintentional, masterpieces of the mystery and majesty of a moment. Photographs on display from the past one hundred years ranging from gelatin silver print to Fuji Instax all feature the "seat" as their subject matter. The human seat, that is. 

John Phelan is a collector and artist living in Greenwich, Connecticut.