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Displaying items by tag: Hannah Cohoon

A layered cutwork Tree of Life, discovered at a Connecticut antiques show in the booth of the late Frank Ganci, presented an intriguing puzzle when it first came to light in 1980 (Figs. 1, 1a). Upon its removal from a non-original frame, the cutwork exhibited legitimate signs of age. Of paramount interest was its obvious resemblance in silhouette to the design of The Tree of Life painted by Hannah Cohoon (1788–1864) at the Hancock, Massachusetts, Shaker community in 1854 (Fig. 2). The question is, does this cutwork represent a major Shaker discovery or a twentieth-century copy based on the original work?

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