Nude Figure Sketch I

HARRIS COLLECTION  | 2019 Purchase

c. 1930s  |  HGK-2019.AW.0002  |  Graphite on Paper, 8.5 x 5.5 inches

The sketch is one in a series of figure sketches in the collection.

DAC Foundation, Wetumpka, Alabama

Henry George Keller | 1869-1949

Participant in the 1913 Armory Show

Henry George Keller was born at sea, off Nova Scotia, on April 3, 1869. His earliest training was in Karlsruhe, Germany, under the direction of Hermann Baisch, then at the Cleveland School of Art, the Cincinnati Fine Arts Academy, and the Art Students League in New York City. As a young artist, he apprenticed at the W. J. Morgan Lithograph Company in Cleveland, Ohio. Keller then completed his art instruction at the Munich Academy with Heinrich Johann Zügel. There he became friends with well-known American artist Walt Kuhn.

After returning to America, Keller immediately found a job at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and later the Cleveland School of Art, where he taught until 1945. Keller was a member of Cleveland's Kokoon Arts Club and the founder of a colony-type summer art school in Berlin Heights, Ohio. His most famous student was American artist Charles Burchfield. Cleveland school artists Paul Travis and Frank N. Wilcox were also students of Keller.

He exhibited two works at New York's famed 1913 Armory Show. The list of Keller's exhibition activities is impressive.  His work can be found in many museum collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Butler Institute of American Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, Phillips Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Research indicates that Keller spent time on Alabama's Gulf Coast painting which is supported by the fact that his work can be found in the collection of the Mobile Museum of Art. Before his death in 1948, Keller moved to San Diego, California.

Sources:, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, Henry G. Keller Memorial Exhibition Catalog, Cleveland Museum of Art