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     Francis Kelly was born in 1927 in St. Paul, Minnesota. He received his early education in Chicago and California and served in the United States Navy from 1944 to 1948 before entering the Art Centre School, Los Angeles.
     During 1951 and 1952 he lived in Paris, attending the Academie de la Grande, Chaumiere. In 1953 he went to the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, and then to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was graphic laboratory assistant to John Paul Jones.
     Awarded a Fulbright Grant in 1955 he came to the Graphic Department of the Central School, London. The St. George's Gallery first introduced his etchings in Britain and in 1958 Kelly was awarded the Stacey Grant for painting. His work has been shown at Royal Academy Exhibitions and he has traveled extensively.
     In 1966 he was appointed art organizer for the U.S. Embassy "Festival of Arts and Humanities." His paintings were shown in the subsequent exhibition, "Five American Artists in Britain." During 1976 he acted in a similar capacity on behalf of Winsor & Newton Ltd., who sponsored an exhibition of American artists commemorating the U.S. Bicentennial. He appeared in the film, "Science in Art."
     Kelly has studied painting conservation at the Courtauld Institute. In 1967 he was sent by the Italian Art and Archives Rescue Fund to Florence to restore flood damaged paintings. In 1971 his book "Art Restoration" was published by David and Charles and in the U.S. by McGraw-Hill. His second book, The Studio and the Artist was published in 1975. Kelly is now working on his third book.
     During more than 50 years in Britain, Kelly has found a growing affinity with the countryside, observing less the well-known landmarks but rather more the timeless rural lands and byways as yet still not encroached  by building and industry.
     In the past decades, Kelly has also been absorbed by the movement and play of light upon water in rivers and waterways. This fascination has culminated in frequent trips to Venice. His attention is usually focused on the ever-changing refractions of light in the city's canals and an increasing pattern of abstraction is evident in these compositions.
     More recently, a chance observation of weathered advertising posters in an old quarter of Venice has inspired a new direction in his work. The transient nature of poster images (here today and covered tomorrow) often imparts a multi-subliminal message to passersby. Street posters have proven stimulating to the artist's imagination in evolving themes of fantasy and diversion. Multi-layered posters, subjected to the ravages of time, provide the basis for Kelly's unique personal vision.
     Kelly's work has been shown at 24 museums in Great Britain and in numerous galleries. Acquisitions have been made by many public and private collections, universities, and educational services, including:

Los Angeles County Museum
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
New York Public Library
National Gallery, South Australia
International Chemicals Institute
IBM Corporation, New York
Union Bank of Switzerland
Winsor & Newton Limited
Glasgow University
Merchants National Bank, Indiana
Arts Council, Ottawa
Royal Collection - King of Sweden
Temple Newsam House, Leeds
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
South London Art Gallery
Inner London Educational Authority
Colleges of Oxford and Cambridge
British Army of the Rhine

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Francis Kelly Studio

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Francis Kelly and wife, Martha Gail Kelly