Joshua Bussell


served as an elder and trustee of the Shaker community at Alfred, York County, Maine, but he will be remembered as well as a gifted mapmaker and landscape artist.Bussell entered the Shaker community with his family in 1829. Respected for his faithfulness, he remained a resident of Alfred’s Second family for the rest of his longlife. He also composed hymns, one of which, the rousing “Jubilee,” remains in the oral tradition of the Maine Shakers to this day.During the 1830s and 1840s, the Shaker central leadership at New Lebanon, New York, encouraged the drafting of illustrated maps or site plans of each Shaker village, to record the location of dwellings, shops, barns, pastures, orchards, and other features of the natural and built environments. Initially, talented Shaker draftsmenresponded by creating documentary records with meticulous attention to detail but little artistic expression. Bussell, whose first drawing is dated 1845, was a cobbler by trade. He carried the mapmaking tradition later into the nineteenth century than any other Shaker artist did. By the 1880s his early diagrammatic renderings hadevolved into fully developed watercolor paintings. In addition to the Alfred community in which he resided, Bussell’s subjects included Maine’s other Shaker village at New Gloucester, its subsidiary Poland Hill family, and the Shaker community at Canterbury, New Hampshire. Robert P.Emlen, the author of a definitive study of Shaker village views, attributes seventeen drawings to Bussell.
see also
Henry Blinn; Painting, Landscape;

Emlen, Robert P.
Shaker Village Views: Illustrated Maps and Landscape Drawings by Shaker Artists of the Nineteenth Century.
Hanover, N.H., 1987.Patterson, Daniel W.
The Shaker Spiritual.
Princeton, N.J., 1979