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SHELTON, Margaret Dorothy

Bruce, Alberta, 1915
Calgary, Alberta, 1984
Biography synopsis
With the Alberta landscape as her main subject matter, Margaret Shelton produced hundreds of pen-and-ink sketches, watercolours and prints. She began depicting her surroundings at a very young age, sketching both natural and industrial landscapes as she roamed the countryside near her family's farm. Despite her promising early attempts, Shelton did not become a full-time, professional artist until later in life, attending teacher's college at Normal School in Calgary (1933-34) and subsequently teaching periodically, and also working at an advertising agency in Toronto as a commercial artist for six months. During these years, she relegated her artistic pursuits to evenings and summers, taking classes at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art where she won scholarships to study drawing and painting from 1934-43. While there, she studied under A.C. Leighton, a celebrated English landscape painter, and H.G. Glyde. Shelton also studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts, graduating with a fine art diploma in 1938. In 1941, she learned Japanese woodblock printing techniques from W.J. Phillips and went on to become one of Canada's most prolific and significant print artists. Throughout her career she exhibited periodically with the Society of Canadian Painter-Etchers and Engravers, the Canadian Society of Graphic Art and the Calgary Sketch Club. Other significant exhibitions of her work have been held at the Burnaby Art Gallery, British Columbia (1981), and at the Glenbow Museum, Calgary (1985). Her works can be found in the collections of the National Gallery, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Edmonton Art Gallery, Rutgers University, Shaw Cable and the Glenbow Museum.
Media used
Provincial Institute of Art and Technology, Calgary, Alberta, 1933 - 1943 (under A.C. Leighton, H.G. Glyde)
Private study, 1941 (under W.J. Phillips (woodblock printing))
Banff School of Fine Arts, ? - 1938
Calgary Sketch Club
Canadian Society of Graphic Art
Society of Canadian Painter-Etchers and Engravers
File & Archive locations
Calgary Public Library, AB - Arts Department
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
Edmonton Art Gallery, AB - Library
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
University of Calgary Library, AB
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
Glenbow Archives, AB - Main Catalogue

Writings about
"Block Talk: News, views and issues in the city's northern neighbourhoods." Calgary Herald 2 Feb. 2006: N2.
"Review-Shelton, Margaret, Block Prints 1936-1984 and Down Alberta Roads: Watercolours, Glenbow Museum." Calgary Herald 19 Feb. 1986: D11.
Ainslie, Patricia. Margaret Shelton: Block Prints, 1936-1984. Calgary: Glenbow Museum, 1984.
Armstrong, Christopher and H.V. Nelles. The Painted Valley: Artists Along Alberta's Bow River, 1845-2000. Calgary, Alberta: University of Calgary Press, 2007.
Beauchamp, Elizabeth. "Printmaking book timely creation." Edmonton Journal 16 Sept. 1989: B10.
Berenyl, Valerie. "A family room for a family man." Calgary Herald 6 Jul. 2003: D3.
Cochran, Bente Roed. Printmaking in Alberta 1945-1985. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1989.
LaViolette, Mary-Beth. Alberta Mistresses of the Modern, 1935-1975. Edmonton: Art Gallery of Alberta, 2012.
Laviolette, Mary-Beth. "Jewel of a show." Calgary Herald 11 Dec. 1999: G10.
MacDonald, Colin S. The Dictionary of Canadian Artists. (Volumes 1-8 by Colin S. MacDonald, and volume 9 by Anne Newlands and Judith Parker) Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2009.
Masters Gallery. Margaret Shelton. Calgary: Masters Gallery Ltd, 1988.
McGoogan, Ken. "National book token plan launched." Calgary Herald 31 Jan. 1989: B5.
Ring, Dan, Vanderhaeghe, and George Melnyk. The Urban Prairie. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Fifth House Publishers, 1993.
Robinson, Michael. "Getting to know the soul of our city." Calgary Herald 22 Mar. 2002: A21.
Salmon, Peter. "The New Islander: March on Victoria." Times-Colonist (Victoria) 5 Jul. 1998: 1.
Shell Canada Ltd. Shell Canada Collection: A Selection of Canadian Art Assembled by the Employees of Shell Canada Ltd. Calgary: Shell Canada Ltd, 1977.
Tousley, Nancy. "Isolation Plagued Prolific Alberta Artist." Calgary Herald 19 Feb. 1986.
Tousley, Nancy. "Local art auction brings in $134,000." Calgary Herald 22 Nov. 1989: C4.
Townshend, Nancy. A History of Art in Alberta, 1905-1970. Calgary, Alberta: Bayeux, 2005.
Westbridge, Anthony R. The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction. Vancouver: Westbridge Publications, 2001.

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