Hal Shelton grew up in southern California where he received all of his formal education. Hal graduated from Pomona College in 1938 with a fine arts degree.
The early part of Hal's career was spent with the United States Geological Survey as a topographer. It was during this time that Hal developed his pioneering technique of adding natural coloring to topographical maps. Eventually he became a cartographer with the Jeppeson Company in Denver, Colorado, where he painted maps used in schools, by airline companies, and as road maps.
Hal's groundbreaking work in cartography led him to be an in demand commercial artist. The three ski pictures in this retrospective are just a tiny sampling of the many maps, posters, brochures and advertising he created for ski resorts -- both in the U.S. and Europe.
The years spent in the field with the USGS nurtured Hal's deep affinity for the natural world. He hiked hundreds, if not thousands of miles throughout the United States. When not at work on a shaded relief map, Hal could be found in his studio painting. Without a doubt his most beloved subject was the western landscape. He dabbled in portraiture when pressed by a family member or close friend, but his inspiration came from the majestic Rocky Mountains, the mesas of Arizona or the canyons of Utah.
Hal received many awards and honors including recognition from the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division. In 1985 the LOC acquired many of Hal's maps and purchased a painting called Canyon Lands, Utah. It is a beautiful triptych and hangs in the Map Division in Washington, DC.
The works in this retrospective are from the collection of Tim and Jane Shelton. If you would like further information please contact Jane Shelton in the Adult Reference department of the St. Charles Public Library.