Ann Eckert Keenan, Primping, Miami Daily News, July 20, 1952. 

Ann Eckert Keenan was a popular member of Miami’s professional artist colony in the 1950’s. Her work, initially realistic watercolors of the Florida scene including landscapes, birds, flowers, and Floridians at play, evolved from realism to abstract expressionism. Keenan exhibited widely from Daytona Beach to the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Arts, the Lowe Art Gallery at the University of Miami, where she twice won Beaux Arts Prizes, and the East Martello Art Gallery in Key West.

Ann Eckert Keenan, City Scape in Blue, watercolor 22 1/4 by16 1/4 inches. Signed lower left.

Born and educated in New York City, Ann Eckert grew up to have her own atelier in Paris. From the mid 1930’s until 1951 Eckert free lanced as a commercial artist in New York City, doing magazine advertising illustrations, and becoming well known as an illustrator of children’s books. In an interview with the Miami Daily News, she remembered having a “wonderful crazy young time in Paris, studying, sightseeing, and living in a darling atelier… from which she returned with 25 cents in her pocked.”


Ann Eckert Keenan, The Deering Estate, Miami Daily News, July 20, 1952.

In 1951 she married Joe Keenan and moved to Miami. Nellie Bower, art editor for the Miami Daily News, reviewed her work, (Miami News, August 9, 1953). “I find in her watercolors (and perhaps it will be apparent in her palette knife oil painting which she has only recently taken up) a certain nervous vitality which together with satisfying tonal quality and an exuberant fluency of brushwork, mark them as the work of an accomplished and versatile painter….Ann Keenan is a prolific artist, she paints for herself, for pleasure, for sale, for illustration, for reasons, all of which demonstrate her as an artist of unusual ability, one with a fresh outlook, spontaneous and original ideas…”


Ann Eckert Keenan, The Coast of Florida, Tampa Bay Times, February 23, 1958.

In a review of her work at the Huber Gallery, Miami Beach in 1958. Doris Reno art editor of the Miami Herald (Miami Herald, November 23, 1958) commented: “Miss Keenan is trying to evolve her style away from realism, has adopted a style not her own which consequently assists her little in expressing her own personality.” Bob Lovett, in a Kennan exhibition catalog called her later work, “reminiscent of Braque and Picasso… her last works an extension of cubism, fauvism and expressionism …were simple in composition but masterful in application.”

Ann Eckert Keenan, Three Riders, oil on canvas 16 1/4 by 22 1/4 inches. Signed lower left, on verso titled with Estate of Ann Eckert Keenan label.

Born: 1904, New York City. Died: January 21, 1982, Miami Shores. Education: Art Students League; Pratt Institute; Grand Central Art School; Elliot O’Hara; Xavier Gonzales. Membership: Miami Art League; Creative Arts Group of Tampa Bay; National League of American Pen Women; American Artists Professional League; Miami Watercolor Society (formed 1955). Exhibits: Miami Art League, Annual, November 1951, Miami Beach Art Center, best landscape, Time and Tide; Mayfair Art Theater, Miami, December 1951; Burdine’s Auditorium, June 1952, 75 artists exhibiting, honorable mention, watercolor, Roof Tops; Miami Beach Art Center, one woman show, July 1952; Daytona Beach Art Center, November 1952; Roney Plaza Hotel, Miami Beach, November 1952, a watercolor; Allied Artists of North Miami at Mayfair Art Theater, Biscayne Blvd. November 1952, Key West Afternoon; Miami Women’s Club, Artists and Writers Breakfast, February 1953, watercolor, The Gossips; Miami Boat Show Art Exhibit, Dinner Key auditorium, February 1953, Day’s End; Allied Arts of North Miami, at City Hall, November 1953, best watercolor, Empty Window; American Artists Professional League at Washington Galleries, Miami Beach, November 1953, an oil, The Red Masque; National League of American Pen Women’s Art Exhibit, Miami Woman’s Club, March 1954, 1st prize, portrait or figure, The Old Farmer; Blue Dome Fellowship, Miami Beach Art Center, March 1954,watercolor, Storm Riders;  Blue Dome Fellowship Annual, Miami Beach Art Center, February 1955, Sea Shells and Sand; ; Miami Art League, Winter Annual, December 1955, honorable mention, portrait or figure, The Letter; Miami Watercolor Society, at Miami Beach Art Center, May 1956, Between the Acts; Harry Rich Art Competition, July 1956, honorable mention, The Sunday Paper (A watercolor portrait of her husband, Joe.); Miami Art League at Miami Beach Art Center, January 1957, 1st prize, portrait for Gary; Society of The Four Arts, Contemporary American Paintings, December 1957, oil, Paper Hat Parade; Miami Art League at Miami Beach Art Center, January 1958, honorable mention, Harbor; Contemporary Arts Gallery, Pinellas Park, February 1958, forty paintings of Florida landscapes, waterways and people at work and play, including, Elephant Dance, Soldier Boy, The Little Philosopher; Huber Gallery, Alton Road, Miami Beach, March 1958, The Hurt, Saucer of Milk, Paper Hat Parade and Sunny Afternoon; Miami Watercolor Society at Miami Beach Art Center, May 1958, Babs; Huber Gallery, Miami Beach, two-man exhibit with Eugenie Schein, November 1958; The Village Corner Gallery, Coral Gables, Art as You Like It, group show, November 1958; Society of The Four Arts, 20th Annual, Contemporary American Paintings, December 1958, oil, Counter Point; Miami Art League at Miami Beach Art Center, December 1958, Elizabeth Upham Davis award for still life, Elizabeth’s Flowers; Miami Watercolor Society, 1958, exhibit at Lowe Art Gallery, Miami Beach Art Center, Norton Art Gallery, Florida Gallery, Key Largo, Contemporary Arts Gallery, Pinellas Park; East Martello Tower, Key West, February 1959, watercolors, Solitaire, A Fine Seam, Siesta, New York scenes, Village Bistro, City Echoes, Blue Fog, City at Dawn, City Reflections, Key West scenes, Zinnias, Soldier Boys, A Pleasant Spot-Hemmingway House, Ferns and Mushrooms, Elephant Dance; Miami Art League at Miami Beach Art Center, December 1959, award for The Citadel; Lowe Gallery, University of Miami, May 1960, merit award for an oil, Shades of Night; Horst Memorial Art Exhibit at Fort Lauderdale Art Center, East Las Olas Blvd., April 1961, 1st purchase prize, a semi-abstract, Swan Song; Blue Dome Members’ exhibit, Miami Beach Art Center, April 1962, award; R Gallery, Richards Department Store, Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, August 1964, Flight in Blue.

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