Sunday, June 26, 2011
Drawing on the Past #3: ARTHUR I. KELLER
Artist: Arthur I. Keller (1866 - 1924)
Keller trained as an artist at the National Academy of Design in his teens and later went to Germany to study under Ludwig von Loeffiz at the Munich Academy of Art. The Romantic style inherent in that academy's teaching would stay with Keller throughout his career. He tried to make it as a painter but succumbed to the attention he gained as a illustrator and completely abandoned the studio by the early 1900s. His work can be found in the books of popular and bestselling authors of the early 20th century, a few of which were George Barr McCutcheon, Robert W. Chambers, John P. Marquand and Arthur Conan Doyle.
Vintage book lovers may know that he did the drawings for some interesting collectible American books: the first edition of The Virginian by Owen Wister (Macmillan, 1902), The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Bobbs Merrill, 1906), A Christmas Carol (David McKay, 1914) and the first US edition of The Valley of Fear by Doyle (George H. Doran, 1914).
For more about Arthur Keller go to this biographical sketch at the Art in the Blood website. While there you can also see some scans from The Valley of Fear as well as beautiful examples of Keller's work in color. He was a master at not only capturing action scenes, but in color composition. I have a copy of The Valley of Fear however the plates are foxed and would make poor scans for your viewing here.