(c) Bradford Museums and Galleries; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

‘Self Portrait’. Image: BBC ‘Your Paintings’/Bradford Museums & Galleries

1872 – 1933

William Shackleton, portrait and landscape painter, was born in Bradford, the son of a paper manufacturer and merchant. He was educated at Bradford Grammar School then studied art at Bradford Technical College. In 1893 he won a scholarship to study at the National Art Training School (later renamed The Royal College of Art), where in 1896 he gained a British Institute Scholarship, enabling him to study in Paris and in Italy.

On returning to London he took a studio with Philip Connard, the decorative and portrait painter, in Chelsea.  After 1914 he moved to Malham, Yorkshire, which became the subject of his later landscapes. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, Leicester Galleries, Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, Grosvenor Gallery, Goupil Gallery, International Society of Sculptors, Painters & Gravers, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, London Salon, Manchester Academy of Fine Arts, New Gallery, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Hibernian Academy, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Royal Institute of Oil Painters and at the New English Art Club, who elected him a member in 1909. He also represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1910 and again in 1922.

SHACKLETON, William. The polar-star. Bradford

‘The Polar Star’. Image: BBC ‘Your Paintings’/Bradford Museums & Galleries

His works are included in many public galleries. In the North of England, these include collections at the Atkinson Art Gallery, Burnley, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Bradford Museums and Galleries, Bury Art Gallery, Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Doncaster Museum Service, The Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston,  Hepworth Wakefield, The Laing Art Gallery, Manchester City Art Gallery, Mercer Art Gallery, Museums Sheffield, Nottingham City Museums and Galleries, Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service, Rotherham Museums and Galleries, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Towneley Hall Art Gallery and Museum, The Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Usher Gallery, Lincoln, Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead, and the York Art Gallery.

(c) Bradford Museums and Galleries; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

‘A Love Lyric’. Image: BBC ‘Your Paintings’/Bradford Museums and Galleries.

His work was influenced by the work of Turner, and integrated Turner’s colour ideas into his own, often impressionist and ‘self-confessed’ symbolist work. Cartwright Hall, Bradford held an exhibition of his work in 1979. Shackleton’s painting, ‘A Love Lyric’, thought to have been inspired by Robert Browning’s poem ‘O Lyric Love’, was displayed  at Cartwright Hall in 2013 to mark the centenary of the artist’s birth.


William Shackleton, 1872-1933. Catalogue of an exhibition held at and published by Bradford Art Galleries and Museums, 1979.


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