Roscoe L. Shields

1926, Lima, Ohio –

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Born in Lima, Ohio, home town of his mother, Roscoe soon moved with his family to Nebraska, the home state of the Shields family. He was schooled in Lincoln, Nebraska, graduating from Northeast High School in 1943. At age 17, he joined the U. S. Navy, serving from 1944 to 1946. Returning to Lincoln, he continued his education, earning a B.F.A. degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and eventually his M. Ed. and D. Ed. degrees from Pennsylvania State University, State College. He married Leona Christensen in 1949, and credits her with providing the help and encouragement so that he was able to follow a career as artist and teacher.

The focus of his teaching career was to improve the quality of art instruction in schools with an emphasis on the elementary level. He began teaching in 1950 at Fairbury, Nebraska, where he taught art at the K-8 and junior college levels. Next he moved to Norfolk, Nebraska, where he taught K-12. In 1954 he accepted a position at the University of Nebraska, where he remained for 40 years. Working through the University Extension Division, Shields taught classes in art methods for elementary teachers and drawing and painting classes for adult groups throughout the state. A highlight, occurring between 1957 and 1962, was teaching art via television to rural high school and elementary classrooms. He was very active with the Nebraska State Teachers Association, and the first recipient of its highest honor, named the Roscoe Shields Service Award. In 1968, he moved to the University’s College of Education where he focused on art methods for the elementary teacher. At the time of his retirement in 1994, he was Assistant Chair of Curriculum and Instruction.

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Roscoe Shields, Untitled (man in forest), woodcut (1/6), c. 1964