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 Donald C. Kelley  (1928 - )

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: abstract, expressionist painting, drawing, sculpture, prints

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:

Donald C. (D.C.) Kelley was born in 1928 and raised in Belmont, Massachusetts.

A painter in oil and pastel, his figuratine work is in the tradition of the Boston Expressionists.  His other work is mostly abstract with two major influences on him being Cy Twombly and Reba Stewart. Kelley has also done a few sculptures, mainly mobiles, and creates lithographs, woodcuts and etchings.  His drawings are in ink or charcoal. 

From 1952-57 he was a diploma student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from which he received the Clarissa Bartlett Traveling Scholarship.

Influential teachers include Dorothy Abbe and Ture Bentz at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Bernard Chaet at the Yale School of Art and Architecture
Kelley worked for two years in Europe, North Africa, and Greece where he met the American painters Nell Blaine and Cy Twombly in Mykonos.
Returned to US in 1960 and received his BFA and MFA from the Yale School of Art and Architecture.
Twice each he was artist-in-residence at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, NM (once 1969-70) and at The Macdowell Colony, Peterborough, NH (probably 1963 and 1964).

In 1957 won Graphic Arts and Drawing prize at Boston Arts Festival.  In 1960 he had his first one-man show at the Swetzoff Gallery, Boston (his dealer at the time) which was favorably reviewed by critic Dorothy Adlow in the Christian Science Monitor on April 4, 1960.
1960 Boston Museum Traveling Scholarship Exhibition.
1961-63, various group shows at Swetzoff.
1962/63 show (group?) at the Bellardo Gallery, NYC and Provincetown.
1962, Beverly Farms Regional Arts Exhibition.
1962, London, Leonardo Appeal Exhibition.
1963, Northeastern University, Boston "New England Contemporary Artists."
1963 "20-20" exhibition at the Boston Museum School Alumni Gallery.
1972, exhibited at the Cambridge Street Artists' Cooperative (where he was a member).
1976 Centennial Exhibition, Boston MFA
1976, Sept. group show of drawings at the Boston Athenaeum Gallery.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, included in three (at least) shows:
1960, "View 1960" his  painting "Old God" 1959 is illustrated as no. 29 in the catalogue of the exhibition. (sponsored by the Smithsonian Inst.)
1961, "New England Artists" exhibition.
1963 "Potlatch" exhibition

Recent reviews of shows at the Soprafina Gallery, Boston by Christopher Graffeo, at, on 3-4-07 and 8-28-07(solo exhib., sev. illus.)
Member: Boston Visual Artists Union.
Listed: Who's Who in American Art.
Interviews with the artist; the artist's archival material

Information compiled and provided by William Gavin.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
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