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Rutherford County Property Assessor Rob Mitchell displays portraits by Richard 'Dick' Shacklett

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Jack McFarland's is portrait hangs to the left of Richard Bell. Rob Mitchell, Rutherford County Property Assessor opened the Murfree Art Gallery in 2013 as a collaborative effort with the Middle Tennessee State University art department, local businesses and local artists. The Gallery is open to the public, 8AM-4PM, Monday through Friday.

Richard Claude Shacklett, better known as 'Dick' Shacklett, was a native of Rutherford County and prominent local photographer. Some of his work, including an iconic and nationally known photo of a jumping Rainbow Trout, will be displayed at the Rutherford County Property Assessors Office in the near future.

Gloria Christy of Shacklett's Photography on the local square, told WGNS that her father had many photos that most don't know about...

 

Mr. Shacklett was also an immensely gifted artist. His talent is now on display in the Murfree Gallery on the second floor of the County Office Building, one block north of the Square at 319 Maple Street.

The display features original portraits of two outstanding local journalists who significantly influenced the growth, opinions and activity of Rutherford County during the mid-20th century.

Jack McFarland, a Florida native, purchased the financially and politically distressed Daily News Journal from A.L. Todd in 1940 and made Murfreesboro his home. During his 40-year ownership, the newspaper was the leading journalistic voice and record of Rutherford County.

In the early years, McFarland hired Richard Bell to manage the printing and distribution operations for the newspaper. Bell eventually became a part owner and business partner with M cFarland.

Since the retirement of these two and sale of the newspaper in 1982, the Daily News Journal has been owned and controlled by out-of-town corporate interests. These portraits were commissioned by Roy Eakes, a 30-year newspaper employee, and painted by Shacklett in the mid-1980's. When the current newspaper owner chose not to display these memorial portraits, they were given to the Rutherford County Historical Society (www.rutherfordtnhistory.org). County Historian and past president of the Rutherford County Historical Society recently passed these portraits along to the Murfree Art Gallery for the public to enjoy.

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Dick Shacklett, photographer, Richard Claude Shacklett, Rutherford County
    
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