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Clyde Leon Keller

American, 1872-1962


Salem 1872





Cannon Beach 1962

Occupation or Type


Northwest artist

Oregon artist


In 1884, at the age of 12, Clyde Leon Keller was enrolled at Willamette University, attending the drawing class taught by Mary Bridges. He later studied there under Marie Craig. By 1893 he had an artist listing in the Salem City Directory and in 1894, under the influence of Homer Davenport, he began his career as a cartoonist for the San Francisco Examiner. Keller began by painting landscapes and portraits but his teacher, E. W. Christmas, advised him to concentrate on landscapes. While in San Francisco he opened an art shop but lost everything in the 1906 earthquake.

Keller returned to his native Oregon and opened an art and frame shop in Portland from 1907 to 1936, where he taught, painted, and held exhibitions. He was a founding member of the Society of Oregon Artists and, later, a founding member of the Oregon Society of Artists, for which he served as president in 1931. His son, Clyde Keller Jr., a well-known watercolor artist, was also president of the Oregon Society of Artists. When Keller was eighty-three he presented a painting, The North Fork of the Santiam, to his childhood friend, President Herbert Hoover. A painting of the Bonneville Dam by Keller hung behind Franklin D. Roosevelt's desk in the White House.

Keller was a prolific artist whose works were present in every state, thirteen European countries, and South America. He won over 275 prizes during his lifetime.

Artist biography reproduced with permission from the authors, Oregon Painters: the First Hundred Years (1859-1959), Ginny Allen and Jody Klevit.



Related People

Teacher of: Howard Stoyell Sewall (American, 1899-1975)

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