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Virtual Lecture – John Shaw, Annapolis Cabinetmaker

October 1 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

If you’ve visited a historic house museum in Annapolis, you’ve likely been introduced to the work of our city’s most famous cabinetmaker, John Shaw. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Shaw quickly established himself as the go-to furniture-maker for wealthy patrons in and around Annapolis, building and repairing pieces for noteworthy residents including William Paca, James Brice, and Charles Carroll. Examples of Shaw’s work can be found in museums and historic homes up and down the East Coast—from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in North Carolina—and there is even a Shaw piece in the White House!

Though he is a famous figure in Annapolis history today, John Shaw’s success was not inevitable. Artisans in early Annapolis often struggled to make ends meet, and many left the city for more stable work in Baltimore, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and further afield. In this lecture, presenter Bethany McGlyn will share the fascinating story of Shaw’s ascent from immigrant laborer to prolific artisan, revolutionary, and community leader. She will discuss how Shaw relied on enslaved and servant labor and how state patronage supplemented his cabinetmaking income, setting the stage for his professional success and continued legacy.

Registration required.

Cost: $15 per household for General Admission; $10 per household for HA Members and Volunteers


Historic Annapolis