JOHN L. HEATWOLE (SHENANDOAH VALLEY OF VIRGINIA, 1948-2006) CARVING, "The Old Elf", depicting Santa Claus in a red suit wearing mitten, holding a teddy bear and carrying a side satchel, polychrome paint, base inscribed with title on reverse and "JL Heatwole VA. ‘98" on one side. 1998. 9 1/2" H, 2 3/8" x 2 1/4" base. Provenance: Property of a Rockingham Co., VA gentleman; one of John Heatwole's earliest patrons. Catalogue Note: John L. Heatwole was an award winning wood carver, author, historian, and folklorist, who lived and worked in Bridgewater, VA for most of his life. Heatwole was a direct descendant of numerous Shenandoah Valley artisans, including potter John D. Heatwole and blacksmith Peter Wine. His work reflected childhood imagination and the folk traditions of the Shenandoah Valley. In 1991, he was the first Virginia artist and the only carver ever to be honored with a solo exhibition of his work in the U. S. Senate Rotunda on Capitol Hill. The "Washington Post Arts Magazine" described Heatwole as "a magical interpreter of man's need for humor, fantasy and wonder." Heatwole passed away in 2006 at the much-too-early age of 58 after a heroic battle with cancer.