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 Ann Eckert Keenan  (1904 - 1982)

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Lived/Active: New York/Florida / France      Known for: abstract and figurative expressionist painting, children's book illustration

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Biography from Knoke Fine Arts:
Ann Eckert Keenan’s paintings range from pure abstraction to figurative expressionism, with a bold approach.

Born in New York City in 1904, Mrs. Keenan attended the Art Students League, the Pratt Institute, and the Grand Central Art School, all in New York City.  Later she studied with Eliot O’Hara and Xavier Gonzales. O’Hara did a documentary film entitled Painting with Lacquer of which Mrs. Keenan was the focal point.

Ann Keenan traveled extensively in Europe and had her own atelier in Paris. From the mid thirties until 1951 she free-lanced in New York City and became quite well known as an illustrator for children’s books. In 1951 she married Joe Keenan and moved to Miami. There she became involved with the southern Florida art community and was active until her death in 1982.

Mrs. Keenan exhibited extensively in south Florida, especially at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of the Arts where she received several coveted awards. Also included in her exhibition credentials are the Daytona Art Center and the Miami Museum of Modern Art, which is now part of the Lowe Art Museum. It is interesting to note that she twice won the Beaux arts Prizes from the Joe and Emily Lower Art Gallery, the namesake of the Lowe Art Museum.

One of her biggest honors in exhibiting was her inclusion in The American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City.

Many of Mrs. Keenan’s works are reminiscent of Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, and considering that she spent much time in Europe and especially in Paris, it would seem highly likely she was influenced by these artists and may have known them.  Her last works then were an extension of Cubism, Fauvism and Expressionism, loosely called Figurative Expressionism.

Though many of her last works were simple in composition, a close look will reveal masterfully applied paint mixed with a variety of paper, sand and netting to give her overall effect.  These last works were a progression of all her years of study and training.

Ann Eckert Keenan

New York City, 1904

Pratt Institute
Art Students League
Grand Central Art School

Studied with
Eliot O’Hara
Xavier Gonzales, N.A.

American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City
Lowe Museum, Coral Gables, Florida
Museum of the Fine Arts, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, Florida
Columbus Museum of the Arts and Crafts, Columbus, Georgia
Playhouse Gallery, Coconut Grove, Florida
Highgate Gallery, Montclair, New Jersey
Miami Art Center, Miami, Florida

One-Woman Shows
Fort Lauderdale Museum of the Arts, Florida
Miami Beach Art Center, Florida
Huber Gallery, Miami Beach, Florida
Martello Gallery and Museum, Key West, Florida
Daytona Art Center, Florida
Pageant Gallery, Miami, Florida
Miami Museum of Art, Miami, Florida

Hortt Memorial Purchase Prize, Museum of the Arts, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Hortt Memorial Water Color First, Museum of the Arts, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Joe and Emily Lowe Art Gallery, Beaux Arts Prizes…Twice in oil…Miami, Florida
Blue Dome Art Fellowship, Miami, Florida
Playhouse Art Gallery, Coconut Grove, Florida
Miami Beach Art Center, Miami Beach, Florida
Mirell Gallery, Coconut Grove, Florida

Lowe Art Museum, Miami, Florida

Painting with Lacquer Re: Ann Eckert Keenan by Eliot O’Hara

Miami Shores, Florida, January 21, 1982

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