Shelley Langdale previously worked through the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions Service, or SITES, in Washington, D.C. as a registrarial assistant. During her time working for SITES, Langdale was in contact with museums of all sorts, including aquariums, libraries, and a variety of other educational institutions. Langdale left SITES after two years to earn a master’s degree in the History of Art from Williams College and soon afterwards began working as a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which houses the second largest collection of prints, drawings, and photographs in the country. After eight years, Langdale became the Assistant Curator of Prints at the Cleveland Museum of Art. She is currently The Park Family Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
In addition to curating exhibitions, Langdale has also had the opportunity to work with architects and conservators in designing the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s current storage system for its prints, drawings, and photographs. The most exciting project Langdale has been a part of so far has been Philagrafika, directed by José Roca, one of the first and largest non-commercial international-scale art exhibitions in the United States. The Philadelphia Museum of Art was one of eighty-eight institutions in Philadelphia involved in this citywide exhibition, which ultimately hosted the works of three hundred artists. The goal of this exhibition was to explore “the graphic unconscious” — how printmaking has permeated contemporary art, both conceptually and literally. Langdale and Marjorie Cohn, one of her former colleagues in Boston, were integral to the organization of the Museum’s 2012–2013 exhibition Printmaking ABC: In Memoriam David P. Becker. Langdale was also a part of the Museum’s Advisory Council and a member of its Collections Committee.