Saturday, August 9, 2008

Arthur Keller’s Portfolio

Arthur Keller (1866-1924) was an American illustrator who studied at the National Academy and the Munich Academy. In 1920 he gathered up his preliminary studies from the costumed model, photographed them on glass negatives, and produced two portfolios of 11x13 inch plates.

According to an Oct. 20, 1920 New York Times review, the portfolios were popular with art students and fellow illustrators because they gave “an opportunity for the public to know a competent illustrator in his moments of preparation, of direct and prompt notation, the salient features of his subject emphasized, a gesture, expression or pose given the importance it has to an artist concentrating his attention upon the significant elements of a composition.”
Related GJ post on working from costumed models, link.
Biography of Arthur Keller on Jim Vadeboncoeur's BPIB, link.
Thanks to Steven Kloepfer and Barry Klugerman


Joe Salamida said...

Keller's drawings remind me so much of a contemporary of his, Adolph von Menzel. Although I believe that Menzel was a bit earlier than Keller. Are these prints or originals?

James Gurney said...

Joe, I took the photos from the original portfolio, which was made from glass negatives shot from the originals.

I agree that there's a link with the great Menzel. Maybe it was the German academy connection.

Shawn Escott said...

Have you heard of an artist named Deane G. Keller? He taught at the Lyme Academy of Fine Art in Old Lyme CT. His drawings were extremely similar to these. He was an amazing draftsman and unfortunately passed away in 2005.

Joe Salamida said...

yes indeed I have heard of the now late Dean Keller. Dean passed on a few yrs ago. His father was a trained figurative draftsmen and taught at Yale - when Yale had a cast collection. That is before the students took the collection and literally threw it out the windows of the buildings. Remeber now, it was all to make way for modern art. Whatever.

I believe that Arthur Keller is a little too early to be Dean's father. Perhaps his grandfather(?). He taught at the NY Academy and the Art Students League besides at Lyme.

All the best, Joe

Shawn Escott said...

I did hear about the cast incident. Pretty crazy. I do know that Deane's father taught at the Art Student's league, so perhaps it could be his grandfather. That would be pretty cool. I had the honor of studying under Deane for a short while and he was an amazing man and artist. The first time i saw him draw (life size) I was shocked at how much confidence he had in his lines. I remember how he would name every anatomical landmark as he drew. :)


Mr. Gurney, in your profile photo you remind moi of an X-Men member and that's cool.

Stay on groovin' safari,