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Clarksville’s Customs House Museum and Cultural Center to display works by William Shackelford

Clarksville's Customs House Museum and Cultural CenterClarksville, TN – Through July 31st, the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center is showcasing a rare exhibition of portraits by William Stamms Shackelford.

Brought together from various institutes and private collectors, the assortment of children, dogs, and patriarchs come to life against the dark hue of the Orgain Gallery. The portraits, some of which were done post-mortem, showcase the talent Shackelford had in bringing out the personality of the subject.

Portrait of Two Children with Dog and Rabbit by William Stamms Shackelford
Portrait of Two Children with Dog and Rabbit by William Stamms Shackelford

In the painting “Portrait of Two Girls”, one can sense the bit of mischief in the younger of the sisters, with her unkempt hair and the sturdy hand of her sibling holding her in place.

In “Portrait of Two Children with Dog and Rabbit” it is easy to note the eagerness and anticipation of the family dog, who is waiting for the rabbit to free itself.

Exhibits Curator Terri Jordan says of the exhibition “It is a thrill to bring together this family of portraits under one roof. Partnering with the Tennessee State Museum, Austin Peay State University, and our wonderful collectors has been a great project.” There are thirteen oil paintings in the exhibition, as well as a reproduction of the artist’s portrait of Cave Johnson.

Portrait Of Two Girls by William Stamms Shackelford
Portrait Of Two Girls by William Stamms Shackelford

In Shackelford’s “Cave Johnson”, the artist compensates for the subject’s drab clothing with a landscape vignette of the United States Capitol, where Johnson served as congressman, and by including every ingredient expected of a portrait of a public official: a column, a swag of drapery, and a chair set at a diagonal to suggest depth, books, and papers.

William Stamms Shackelford moved to Clarksville, Tennessee in the 1850s. The 1859 directory lists him as a portrait painter with a studio under the Masonic Hall and a home on Franklin Street, between Third Street and Fourth Street. The 1860 census lists him as age forty-six, with a wife age thirty-four and a daughter, Maria Louise, age thirteen. He was said to have “lately come from New York”.

Working the Spirit Close to Home: The Portraits of William Stamms Shackelford will be on exhibit through July 31st. It is sponsored in part by the Tennessee State Museum and Austin Peay University Department of Art and Design.

For more information on above event contact Terri Jordan, Exhibits Curator, at 931.648.5780 or terri@customshousemuseum.org

Visit us online at www.customshousemuseum.org

About the Customs House Museum

Customs House Museum and Cultural CenterLocated in the heart of historic downtown Clarksville, Tennessee, the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center is the State’s second largest general museum. The original portion of the building was constructed in 1898 as a U.S. Post Office and Customs House for the flourishing tobacco trade. Incorporating a number of architectural styles, the original structure is one of the most photographed buildings in the region.

With over 35,000 square feet of the region’s best hands-on activities and special events…people of all ages agree – the Customs House Museum is well worth the stop!

The Explorer’s Gallery is packed with fun, learning and fantasy in Aunt Alice’s Attic, McGregor’s Market and kitchen, and of course – the Bubble Cave! Finally, get “all aboard” to see our fantastic model trains. Our volunteer engineers “ride the rails” every Sunday afternoon from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.

Regular museum hours are 10:00am to 5:00pm Tuesday through Saturday, and 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Sundays. Adult admission is $7.00, Senior Citizens and College ID $5.00, Ages 6 to 18 $3.00, and under six years and Museum members are free.

The Customs House Museum is located at 200 South Second Street. For more information, call 931.648.5780 or visit their website at www.customshousemuseum.org


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