Johannes Spitler

Johannes Spitler (October 2, 1774 – April 18, 1837) was an American painter of furniture.

Little is recorded approximately Spitler's life, but he is known to have been born in the community of Massanutten, Virginia, in a ration of Shenandoah County which far along became share of Page County. He worked from the 1790s until roughly 1810, by which dwindling he had moved to Fairfield County, Ohio. His style is distinctive; historians have posited that its uniqueness was informed by the geographic and social disaffection of the community in which he lived and worked. Many of his pieces were traditional, while others incorporated natural imagery in adjunct to abstract patterns. He used the thesame palette throughout his career, red, blue, white, and black. He initialed everything of his work, and kept a list of his pieces, which shows that at the height of his career he was creating approximately twenty-five works a year. The majority of pieces Spitler painted were blanket chests, many of ocher pine; whether or not he made them himself, or merely painted them, is unknown. Two high clock cases have with been approved to him. One of the latter bears the signature of Jacob Strickler, a neighbor and relative by marriage who was plus a fraktur artist; it underlines the shape which fraktur drawings had upon furniture design in the German American community. Two indistinctive pieces dating to after Spitler's distress to Ohio have been endorsed to him, but their date is unknown; it is not known if he continued his artistic career after moving. He died in Ohio.

Several pieces by Spitler were included in an exhibition of Virginia folk art at Colonial Williamsburg in 1973, an issue which led to the identification of a body of bill by Donald R. Walters. Today the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum owns a chest painted by Spitler, as capably as one of the clocks. Other chests are held by the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, the Winterthur Museum, and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. The American Folk Art Museum owns two chests and the second clock, which was a present from Ralph Esmerian. Another chest sold at auction in 2015 for $356,500.

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