Deane G. Keller
Born: August 1, 1940
Died: January 4, 2005
Deane Galloway Keller was born in New Haven, son of Deane Keller (B.A. 1923, B.F.A. 1925, Hon. M.A. 1948) and Katherine Parkhurst Hall Keller (B.F.A. 1937). Both his grandfathers graduated from Yale. Deane prepared at Taft and was a member of Pierson College.
Deane was a History of Art major. He played on the Pierson College football team and was on the Pierson Arts Festival Committee. He also was a member of the Yale Drama.
Following graduation he earned a B.F.A. at the John Herron Art Institute, Indiana University, Indianapolis. He studied in Florence and later obtained his M.A. in Education from St. Joseph's College West Hartford, Connecticut.
Deane was Professor of Drawing and Anatomy at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Old Lyme, Connecticut for 27 years. In 2001 a benefactor of the College established in honor of his teaching an endowed chair, the Deane G. Keller Chair in Classical Drawing and Figurative Art. Deane also taught at the New York Academy of Art, Graduate School of Figurative Art in New York City, the Art Students League of New York, Hartford Art School of the University of Hartford and annually in the summer at Woodstock, School of Art in New York.
An accomplished artist and sculptor, his works are housed in several permanent collections including the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich, Connecticut, Woodstock School of Art, Thomas Merton Studies Center at Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky, Yale University, St. Raphael's Hospital (where his statue of Mother Elizabeth Seton graces the entrance hall), and Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford. His works have also been exhibited throughout New England, the Midwest and in Italy.
Deane was a recognized authority on drawing in the classical tradition, on representational art, especially the human figure, and was revered as a master draftsman, teacher, author and lecturer. He was particularly fascinated with the Middle East to which he and his wife Dorothy (herself a professor of Art History at St. Joseph's College) made regular trips to archeological sites. "Everything about these lands - the light, the desert, the ancient life-ways and the strong sense of history and prehistory - appeals to me," he wrote.
Deane wrote numerous articles on art and published two books, Figure Drawing in the Academy Tradition 1890-1998 and the Draftsman's Handbook: A Resource Study Guide for Drawing from Life in 2003, which he also illustrated. The Handbook was a treasure trove of drawings and anatomical information, representing, in his words, his own conviction of the importance of figurative art, "pulled from the anvil of studio work and from years of life drawing instruction."
Deane resided in Marlborough, Connecticut for many years. He married Dorothy Bosch in 1969. She survives him. He had no children. Deane is also survived by his brother William of Philadelphia (Yale class of 1972), an aunt, Constance Hall Jones of West Hartford and several cousins, nieces and nephews. Deane was buried in Marlborough.
The Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts conducted a Memorial Service for Deane on February 2, 2005. The Memorial Tribute eulogized him as "'a man for all seasons' - artist, scholar, teacher, author, lecturer, and world explorer. He was kind, erudite and passionate about sharing his love of drawing and his vast knowledge, not only of art history, but of the humanities. Legions of students knew him as a caring and beloved mentor during a a teaching career that spanned more than forty years." One student described studying with him as an "intense, spiritual experience."
Memorial contributions were requested by the family for the Deane G. Keller Scholarship Fund at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts or the Deane G. Keller Art History Scholarship at St. Joseph College in West Hartford.