Albert Lee Shelton (June 27th, 1920 - March 22, 2016)
Western artist Al Shelton passed away quietly on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - early morning - with family by his side. Al was born near Greeley, Colorado in 1920.
Albert Lee Shelton (95 years old) was arguably the "most versatile western artist" of the last century. Al always did his best work for clients and would not release an art piece unless it met his high standards. His customers included the famous Hollywood crowd and major music stars as well. Al was known as the "Cowboy Artist to the Stars".
Al excelled in leather craft & leather art, sculpting, painting in watercolor & oil, cowboy poetry & prose and guitar performance.
Al Shelton's stories of his days as a cowboy in Colorado and his humble beginnings as a leather craft master were legendary. Most known for his leather work, Al loved to share his skill and expertise, however, not every secret was given away. In addition, Al Shelton wrote for the leather craft magazines with articles appearing regularly for over 20 years.
Today, Al's works of art are part of private collections, major museums (Tandy Leather Museum, The Autry National Center, Cowboy Hall of Fame and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame) and prominent gallery collections.
Al will be missed by his family and the many friends who continued to visit him in his last residence in Studio City, CA. Many thanks to Al's care team and manager Tim at the Inn on the Boulevard assisted living.
Celebrated Western Artist Al Shelton
Cowboy Artist to the StarsTM
Al Shelton at the Gene Autry Cenntenial Celebration in 2007
NEED A GREAT GIFT IDEA!
Purchase the Al Shelton "Cowboy Artist to the Stars" Living History audio book set for just $20.00 plus $3.00 S&H.
Sample several tracks from the two CD set by looking for the special mp3 links featured below on this page.
CD#1 (Audio) - Features Al Shelton telling his life story as a leather crafter, sculptor and painter. Al, born in 1920, describes his early life as a cowboy growing up in Colorado. He talks about his famous Hollywood clients and the special art projects that they commissioned. In addition, Al plays his guitar and sings a few of his favorite cowboy songs for your enjoyment. The CD includes 19 tracks and has a run time of 66 minutes.
CD#2 (Digitally Enhanced) - The audio portion features Al Shelton describing seven of his paintings, playing his guitar and reading a few of his cowboy poems and western stories. In addition, Matthew Nelson makes a presentation and performs his rendition of the Ricky Nelson hit song "Lonesome Town". This CD includes 15 tracks and has a run time of 26 minutes.
The digital files include 65 photos and other documents that you can view as a slide show on your computer.
Purchase your two CD Living History audio book today for only $20.00 plus $3.00 shipping and handling!
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Artist self portrait on the back of the guitar cover
Full Name: Albert Lee Shelton June 27, 1920 - March 22, 2016
Western Artist Al Shelton creates works in carved leather, bronze & silver sculpture, watercolor and oil. Over the years, his customers include, Eddie Albert, Loni Anderson, Gene Autry, Glen Campbell, Jackie Chan, Chuck Connors, William Conrad, Alex Cord, Steve Cropper, Mac Davis, Angie Dickinson, Patrick Sheane Duncan, Farrah Fawcett, Sally Field, Henry Fonda, Clark Gable, James Garner, Mark Harmon, Anjelica Huston, Jack Lemmon, Lee Majors, Russ McCubbin, Steve McQueen, Rick Nelson, Jack Palance, President Ronald Reagan, Burt Reynolds, Dale Robertson, Tom Selleck, Jane Seymour, Dinah Shore, Marc Singer, Sylvester Stallone, Barbara Stanwyck, Connie Stevens, Barbara Streisand, Robert Taylor, Lindsay Wagner, Robert Wagner, Clint Walker, Stephanie Zimbalist and Efrem Zimbalist.
Several creations of Al Shelton are on display at the AutryNationalCenter (formerly the Autry Museum of Western Heritage). Specifically, a parade show saddle made for Dale Robertson, the star of the television series "Tales of Wells Fargo" is on display. Al Shelton also hand carved many of the component parts of the AutryMuseum's primary bronze sculpture depicting Gene Autry and his horse Champion in the plaza or courtyard of the facility.
A new fine art limited edition giclee print series has been issued. There are currently four visual art pieces now in print. There are two watercolor images and two oil on canvas giclee print reproductions now ready for the market.
Art Mediums: Leather Art (portraits, western scenes & horses, guitar cases & guitar covers), leather utility items (briefcases, saddles, tack, belts, bolo ties, script books, director chairs etc.), leather working custom toolmaker, sculptor (lost wax) and visual art (watercolors, oils and acrylic on leather) and art teacher & author.
Much of Al's artwork is known as interpretive art. That is, there is a story or communication that Al makes through his art subjects. Al continues to this day as a working artist who - over the last 50 years - has lived a humble life in his art studio nearby Hollywood, CA.
Al's work, over the years, is very extensive. It is collected world wide by a relatively small group of western art lovers. Included is this group are many of the musicians & actors who together put Hollywood, CA on the map as the movie & entertainment capital of the world.
One of Al's most famous customers is none other than Gene Autry. Al made many leather and sculpted items for Gene Autry. Included in the collection are several briefcases, guitar cases, silver and bronze belt buckles, leather boots and parts of the large bronze statue of Gene and his horse Champion that is the show piece at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. Al's Early occupation: Cowboy & ranch hand in Colorado, Nebraska and surrounding states.
John Michaels and his wife Christy with Al Shelton. Al hand carved in leather this fantastic scrap book cover for John.
John and Christy Michaels are long time clients of Al Shelton. John is a production manager for VIP Media USA.
Christy commissioned the large hand tooled leather scrapbook cover shown here several years ago.
Just a few weeks ago, John came to see AL and bought the beautiful sterling silver buckle shown in the thumbnail picture above. John presented the silver buckle to his wife Christy for her birthday.
The buckle design is called Pharoah's Horses and Al used this motif on many different creations. See the large hand tooled leather plaque below that used to belong to actor Jack Palance.
Hand tooled leather art created for famed actor Jack Palance. This 18' x 18" leather plaque is titled "Pharaoh's Horses". This motif was used by Al for many unique creations in leather and bronze.
Hand Tooled Leather Plaque presented to KCET Public Television
Al at his workbench
Boxing Gloves presented to AL by Sylvester Stallone after Rocky 2 was made
Legendary Hollywood stuntman Loren Janes and musician Matthew Nelson contributed to Western Artist Al Shelton's living history CD project!