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Al Shelton

Birth place or City of origin: Colorado
State of origin: NE
Last known City: Hollywood
Last known State: CA
Start/Birth date: 1920
Death/End date: 2016

Albert Lee Shelton was born June, 1920 working as a cowboy and ranch hand in Colorado, Nebraska and surrounding states before moving to California in 1943 to work for Edward H Bohlin. Dissatisified with his paltry wage from the saddlemaker to the stars, Al left and became a subcontractor for Nudie Western Tailors and other popular makers in the L A area, creating works in carved leather, bronze and silver sculpture, watercolor and oil.

One of Al's most famous customers was none other than Gene Autry. Al made many leather and sculpted items for Gene Autry. In fact, several creations of Al Shelton are on display at the Autry National Center (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 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. Included in the Gene Autry Centennial collection are several briefcases, guitar cases, silver and bronze belt buckles and leather boots.

Over the years, his customers included, Eddie Albert, Loni Anderson, 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, Merv Griffin, Mark Harmon, Anjelica Huston, Loren Janes, 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.

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 in nearby Hollywood, CA. DIED 3/22/16

 

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