Sharing the Common Wealth showcases objects, artifacts, documents, structures and buildings from the collections of PHMC.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), observing “William Penn’s Legacy: Religious and Spiritual Diversity” as its annual theme for 2011, has no paucity of objects, artifacts, documents, even buildings and structures, associated with a wide array of faiths. PHMC’s Old Economy Village in Ambridge, Beaver County, developed between 1824 and 1831, was home to the Harmony Society, a prosperous nineteenth-century religious community led by self-proclaimed prophet George Rapp (1757–1847). The Harmonists created a remarkable material world which included furnishings such as chests, clocks, cupboards, and tables. A small, ornate looking glass, circa 1825–1840, is the only mirror that can be ascribed to Harmonist manufacture. Its brightly painted watercolor contains images familiar to Harmony Society members: symmetrically positioned eagles emblazoned with shields and holding floral blossoms in their beaks flank a stylized cherry tree with a grapevine growing up its trunk. Scholar Philip D. Zimmerman highlighted the white pine-framed looking glass in his definitive Harmony in Wood: Furniture of the Harmony Society, published in 2010 by the Friends of Old Economy Village, which he described as “a confection in Harmonist-made furniture.”