Shaw is a widely
recognized expert on American folk art and crafts
and the author of such critically acclaimed books as American Quilts: The Democratic Art, 1780-2007, Hand Made, Hand Played: The Art & Craft of Contemporary Guitars. The Art Quilt, Quilts: A Living Tradition, America's Traditional Crafts, and American
Baskets. His most recent book, Electrified: The Art of the Contemporary Electric Guitar was published in October 2011 by Sterling Publishing in New York.
Bob was curator at the
Shelburne (VT) Museum from 1981-1994, where he worked with that
institution's world renowned collections of American folk art. He has
curated exhibitions at many major American museums, including
the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution's Renwick
Gallery, the University of Michigan Art Museum, the Houston Museum
of Natural Science, and the Dallas Museum of Natural History,
and lectured at the American Folk
Art Museum, the American Craft Museum, Sotheby's, the de Young Museum of Art, the Fenimore Art Museum,
and dozens of other institutions.
From 1998-2003, he was
curator of special exhibits for Quilts Inc./International Quilt
Festival in Houston, and he has curated exhibitions of antique
and contemporary quilts at museums and expositions in the U.S., Europe and
Japan. Bob's special exhibition, "Three American Masters—Kate Adams, M. Joan Lintault, and Susan Shie," was seen by more than 259,000 people at the 2009 Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival
Bob also has contributed to numerous books and exhibition catalogs; written articles for The Magazine Antiques, Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, Fiber Arts, Early
American Life, Sports Afield, and Decoy Magazine; and served as a consultant to museums, private collectors, and Sotheby's.