Henry G. Keller • Ohio: 1870-1949
May Morning In The Zoo • Watercolor on Paper 19 3/4” x 13 5/8”
Abel Warshawsky was watching his painting ripped to shreds. The scene at Cleveland’s exclusive Rowfant Club could not nave been any more painful for a young painter recently returned from Paris filled with avant garde ideas about art. As Warshawsky recalled in, “Memories of an American Impressionist,” a jury of Cleveland’s intellectual elite were determined not to allow such a “crude and anarchic” painting into their show.
Then a single juror rose from his seat.
Hernry Keller was tired of in-the-box thinking that surrounded Clevelanders with “pale, timid, watered Impressionism, “ so he threatened to quit his position on the Club’s management committee. He railed at the other jurors who preferred the same-old, same-old to bold modernists like Warshawsky.
Keller won. Warshawsky’s picture hung.
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