Biography: Etchings by Wilmingtonian Robert Shaw were among the first gifts to the Delaware Art Museum, which now owns more than 60 prints and paintings by the artist. Shaw was a largely self-taught artist, whose work was heavily collected in the region during his lifetime. He drew and painted in meticulous detail the familiar sights of his home state, as well as homes and churches of historical importance. A contemporary of illustrator Howard Pyle and painter J. D. Chalfant, Shaw was best known for his etchings, a medium he took up in 1888. Most of Shaw's etchings were printed by the Philadelphia brothers Richard W. and Gustav C. Peters. Shaw was a member of the Philadelphia Society of Etchers.
The Historical Society of Delaware publication Delaware History featured Thomas Beckman's study "The Etchings of Robert Shaw" in its Fall/Winter 1990 issue. It includes a listing of all of his etchings with their matching remarques, an invaluable tool in identifying his works.