Henry George Keller Biography

Henry George Keller




Henry George Keller, painter and printmaker, was born to German parents aboard ship on the Atlantic Ocean off Nova Scotia on April 3, 1869. His parents were Jacob and Barbara Keller from Klingenmünster.  Upon arrival in the United States, the family settled in the vicinity of the city of Cleveland, Ohio.

Keller's formal art education began in 1887, when he received special permission to study at the Western Reserve School of Design for Women, which is now the Cleveland Institute of Art. In 1890, he departed for Europe and studied under Hermann Baisch at the Karlsruhe Academy. He returned to Germany in 1899 where he studied animal drawing and anatomy under Julius Hugo Bergmann in Düsseldorf and the following year he studied at the Royal Academy of Bavaria in Munich under Heinrich Johann Zügel.

In 1902, Keller became an instructor at the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. That same year he won a Silver Medal for his oil End of the Day from the Royal Academy of Bavaria. In 1908, he gave up his position at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh but retained his position at the Cleveland Institute of Art until his retirement in 1945.

Keller was elected to membership in Union Internationale des Beaux-Arts et des Lettres, Paris in 1913, elected to life membership in the Cleveland Society of Artists in 1930, and elected to the National Academy of Design in 1939.

He exhibited in 1910 in the Carnegie International, and exhibited at the Carnegie Institute over many years beginning in 1914. His worked was included in the First Annual Exhibition of Work by Cleveland Artists and Craftsmen in 1919 and annually thereafter until his death. His work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Harvard Art Museums, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Academy Museum, the Portland Art Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum,.

After the death of his wife in 1948, Keller moved San Diego, California to be near their son. Henry George Keller died in San Diego on August 3, 1949.