Shelby Shackelford (b. 1899 Halifax, VA; d. 1987 Wellfleet, MA), studied at the Maryland Institute of Fine Arts, and was presented a scholarship to complete her training in Paris, where she studied under Fernand Leger. After returning to the states, her artwork caused a stir at MIFA in 1926, which refused to show her Modernist canvases, and deemed them “art cripples.” Shortly thereafter, she and her husband, physicist Richard Threlkeld Cox, moved to New York until 1943, returning to Baltimore when he took a position at Johns Hopkins University. While in New York, Shackelford illustrated three books: a book by her husband, “Time, Space, and Atoms,” 1933; a children’s book, “Now For Creatures,” 1936; and a journal of a scientific research to Brazil, “Electric Eel Calling,” 1941.
After returning to Baltimore, Shackelford taught at St. Timothy’s School in Stevenson, MD, as well as at the Baltimore Museum of Art, where she also served on the Artists Committee from 1943–1960. Exhibiting regularly in Baltimore, both individually and as a part of a collective of 14 artists known as “The Group,” she received two purchase prizes from exhibitions at the BMA. Based on her activities, museum director Adelyn Breeskin recommended her to Alice Denney as an artist to invite to join the Jefferson Place Gallery in 1957.
1958—Paintings, Oct. 14—Nov. 11
1957—First Group Show, Oct. 10—Nov. 9
1957—Christmas Show, Dec. 9—Jan 4, 1958
1958—The Group +2, May 20—June 17
1958—Christmas Show, Nov. 25—Dec. 31
1959—Member’s Show, April 21—May 2
1959—Approaches to Contemporary Painting, Sept. 22—Oct. 10
1959—Christmas Show, Dec. 15—Jan. 2
1960—End of Year Review, May 17—June 11