Honorary Life Member - 1979
Chapman Kelley is one of the few painters to be included in major art collections such as the DeKooning’s and the Hirshhorn’s. He has won major national recognition from Edward Hopper and Jacques Lipschitz, and has been invited to lecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and Yale’s School of Art and Architecture about his important “Wildflower Works.”
Mr. Kelley was honored to be included in the 1965 “Who’s Who In The South and Southwest” for its Biannual Citation in Art, along with Jasper Johns and Gene Davis, and other recipients such as Dr. Michael DeBakey in medicine, and Senator J. William Fullbright in government. Born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1932, Mr. Kelley attended the Hugo D. Pohl Art School at San Antonio, Trinity University, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, where he was awarded the William Emlen Cresson European Traveling Scholarship in 1954 and 1955 among others.
Chapman Kelley’s first New York exhibition was resoundingly received in 1963, having sold out and was featured in Life magazine in September, 1963. Since the mid-1950’s, Kelley has participated in many of this country’s major national group exhibitions including Pennsylvania Academy Annual, Philadelphia; Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C.; Audubon Artist’s Annual, New York; Young American Realists, Cummer Gallery of Art, Jacksonville, Florida; 20th Century Realists Exhibition, San Diego Museum; and the Midwest Biennial, Joslyn Art Museum, Missouri. He has received extraordinary honors from renowned art museums and institutions across the country.
His works are included in over a thousand public and private collections across the world including: Dallas Museum of Art, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Former President Lyndon B. Johnson; El Paso Museum of Art, Texas Instruments Inc., Mrs. Eugene McDermott of Dallas, Apparel Mart of Dallas, El Centro and Mountain View Junior Colleges, First National Bank of Dallas, Oklahoma Art Center.
As Chapman Kelley was recognized for his award-winning paintings of wildflowers, he embarked on an entirely different direction in the late 1960’s. He attended a talk on “Intuition” by Buckminster Fuller, and was so influenced by Fuller’s metaphor comparing a sailboat to man’s cooperation with nature, that he began a series of paintings on day sailors at Dallas’s White Rock Lake. He enhanced his production of sailors when he moved to Chicago. He painted graceful, glamorous wooden racers on Lake Michigan and was subsequently invited to study and paint with the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta, and to visit the Wooden Boat Show at Southwest Harbor in Maine, where he produced some of the most lifelike and glorious paintings of classic vessels.
His latest exhibitions “New Paintings and Drawings,” Mason Murer Fine Arts Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, and a group show, “All About Women Exhibition,” Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago.