“Happy Birthday” John Kelly Fitzpatrick

On August 15, 2018, the Dixie Art Colony Foundation celebrated the Birthday of Dixie Art Colony cofounder John Kelly Fitzpatrick born on August 15, 1888. We had a large crowd on hand for the festive celebration. Thank you Barbara Binford Davis for sharing your talent! Your beautiful portrait of Kelly Fitzpatrick reproduced well on the Birthday Cake!

Pictured below is artist Barbara Binford Davis.

Barbara Binford Davis

As we were preparing for our August 15, 2018, “Lunch & Learn” birthday celebration for Dixie Art Colony cofounder John Kelly Fitzpatrick, we made a few interesting discoveries.

While taking a closer look at some photographs of Fitzpatrick’s home, among the interesting discoveries made, was the actual street number of his home located on Autauga Street in west Wetumpka. In one of the photographs we were able to see the number 31 located over the main entrance to the home. In 1935, when the photographs were taken, Kelly Fitzpatrick was living in the home that was built in circa 1830. In another interior photograph of his home, we were excited to be able to enhance and enlarge a painting located over the mantel in the main parlor so that the signature “J. Kelly Fitzpatrick, 1923” was clearly visible.

Shown below are a few of the slides included in our August 15, 2018, presentation. Included in the slides are a few of the poems and watercolor sketches from the 1950 Birthday scrapbook created by Kelly Fitzpatrick’s students at the 1950 “Bayou Painters” session held in Coden, Alabama. Also include we some rare restored photographs from the same scrapbook.

Below is a quote about Kelly Fitzpatrick from friend and fellow Dixie Colonist Karl Wolfe.

“Kelly was the life of the colony.... He laughed continually. All he took seriously were art and courtesy—knightly courtesy to people who bored him. Materialism he disdained, responsibility, he’d have nothing of, even refusing to drive a car. He laughed at politics, business status, ambition, ego, pride, vanity... It was impossible not to love him. He made us feel like kids at a circus.”

—Karl Ferdinand Wolfe, Jackson Miss.

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