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.

Solo Exhibitions
1958—Paintings, Oct. 14—Nov. 11

Group Exhibitions
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

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Artist Shelby Shackleford
Jefferson Place Gallery Catalog, 1959 [ #8 ]

connected archival press clips

Colorist
Colorist
October 24, 1968
Washington Star
Shelby Shackleford of Baltimore is having her first Washington solo exhibition at Jefferson Place Gallery, 1216 Connecticut Ave. NW. through next Saturday. She is one of its original member artists. Her paintings are abstract, well constructed, with variety of forms, and outstanding color.
Jefferson Gallery
Jefferson Gallery
November 5, 1957
The Washington Star
The new Jefferson Place Gallery, 1216 Connecticut avenue NW, is a beautiful place to display work to the best advantage.
Jefferson Gallery
Jefferson Gallery
November 5, 1957
The Washington Star
The inaugural group show remains through this week, to be followed by one-artist shows by each of the 11 painters and sculptors to whom the gallery is dedicated.