- On Johannes/John Spitler: An illustrated book tentatively titled Shenandoah’s Page Valley Style: The Painted Furniture of John Spitler, 1790-1806 will be published by the University of Georgia Press in Spring 2021.
- On John Shearer: Published in 2011, The Furniture of John Shearer, 1790-1820: “A True North Britain” in the Southern Backcountry.
“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
Articles and Chapters in Books
On Johannes or John Spitler
- Religion, Land, and Cultural Tradition: Johannes Spitler of the Shenandoah Valley, 1790-1809. Contact Betsy for a 2020 annotated version of this article.
On John Shearer
- A ‘True North Britain’: Messages and Meaning in John Shearer’s Furniture, 1790-1820, Chapter Two in the book, Rule Britannia? Britain and Britishness 1707 1901
- Research Note: Scottish Bedroom Tables from Scotland to the American South
- Shearer Loyalism and Heritage