Leon Kelly : Barnegat Bay, Fishery
Leon Kelly (Barnegat Bay, Fishery)

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Artist: Leon Kelly
Title: Barnegat Bay, Fishery
Media: Watercolor on paper 18 1/4 × 24 1/4 inches
Description: Signed at lower right: “Leon Kelly”
Inscribed at lower left: “Barnegat Bay.Fishery.”  

One art historian has opined that Kelly’s paintings of the early 1920s “were among the most sophisticated versions of analytical Cubism to be produced in Philadelphia.”1

Kelly won the Pennsylvania Academy’s Cresson Traveling Fellowship in 1924 and went to Europe for six years, living in Paris and traveling throughout the continent and North Africa. Kelly’s interest in Cubism gradually subsided after he saw the Louvre’s collection of old master paintings. His first solo show was held at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia in 1925, followed by an exhibition at the Galerie du Printemps in Paris in 1926. Kelly was included at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Century of Progress exhibition in 1933, as well as in the annuals of the Whitney Museum in New York, the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, and at the Pennsylvania Academy during the 1930s and ’40s. Kelly began to experiment with Surrealism around 1940. In 1965, his work was included in both a large survey of Surrealism at the University of California at Santa Barbara and a retrospective at the International Gallery in Baltimore. Kelly taught at the Pennsylvania Academy from 1966 to 1969, and died in 1982.

This painting dates from the 1950s, when Kelly lived in Philadelphia and owned a summer house on Long Beach Island.


1. Philadelphia: Three Centuries of American Art [exh. cat.] (Philadelphia, Pa.: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1976), p. 572. See also Leon Kelly, American Surrealist [exh. cat.] (New York: Berry-Hill Galleries, 1999).

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Price: Price upon request
Inventory: RS 3320
Category: •a:American•a:modernist•a:Philadelphia•harbor•marine•New Jersey•nineteenth century•
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