An illustrated book tentatively titled Religion, Land, and Creolization: Johannes Spitler of the Shenandoah Valley, 1790-1809 will be published by the University of Georgia Press in early 2020.
“Iconography is a word that doesn’t faze Elizabeth Davison. In The Furniture of John Shearer, 1790-1820 her meticulous research not only records what he made, but also unlocks the mind-set of that craftsman in his choice of ornamentation found on so much of his furniture. This is a first rate study of an aspect of American material culture often neglected, the world of the rural craftsmen.” — Charles F. Hummel, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
“The curious, message-laden inlays and inscriptions that are almost always found the furniture of joiner John Shearer make him one of the early South’s most fascinating and enigmatic artisans. Scholars have sought the meaning of these words and images for more than thirty years, but with little success. Author Elizabeth Davison has at last cracked the code on Shearer’s communiqués, revealing him as a passionate and well-informed follower of international events. Her book on the subject will be required reading for any serious student of southern furniture.” — Ronald L. Hurst, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation