There are few painters fortunate enough to be collected by the DeKoonings and Hirshhorns among thousands of collections; or to have won major national recognition from Edward Hopper and Jacques Lipchitz and to have been invited to lecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and Yale’s School of Art and Architecture and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, about his important “Wildflower Works.”

          There stands out as conspicuous among a number of awards and collections to the extent that in 1965 Who’s Who In The South and Southwest awarded Mr. Kelley its Second Biennial Citation in Art, the same year that Dr. Michael DeBakey received it in medicine and U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright in government. Mr. Kelley’s award was sandwiched between awards to artists Jasper Johns and Gene Davis before the program was discontinued.

Born in San Antonio, Texas 1932

          Chapman Kelley’s first New York exhibition was resoundingly received in 1963 (sold out and featured with color illustration in Life Magazine, Sept. 20, 1963  here). Since the middle fifties, Kelley has participated in many of this country’s major national group exhibitions including: Pennsylvania Academy Annual, Philadelphia; Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C.; Audubon Artist’s Annual, New York; Mid-Year Show, Butler Art Institute, Youngstown Ohio; Young American Realists, Cummer Gallery of Art, Jacksonville, Florida; 20th Century Realists Exhibition, San Diego Museum; Pennsylvania Academy Exhibit of Former Students, Philadelphia; and the Midwest Biennial, Josyln Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska.  He has received an extraordinary number of honors including: $2500 Purchase Prize, Sun Carnival National Exhibit, El Paso Museum, 1969; Top Purchase Prize, Eight State Exhibit of Painting and Sculpture, Oklahoma City Museum of Art (formerly Oklahoma Art Center), 1965; Julian Onderdonk Memorial Purchase Prize; 1964 Texas Annual, for the permanent collection of the Witte Memorial Museum; 6th Annual Invitational Painting Exhibition, First Prize, Longview Museum of Fine Art, 1963, view it
here; American Academy of Arts and Letters; Childe Hassam Fund Exhibition, 1963 Purchase Prize Award; and the National Academy of Design Annual Exhibition of American Art, 1963 S.J. Wallace Truman Prize; $1000 First Prize State Fair of Texas, 22nd Annual Texas Painting and Sculpture, Dallas Museum of Art, 1960, view it here.


          Chapman Kelley attended the Hugo D. Pohl Art School at San Antonio for eight years, Trinity University for 2 ½ years, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for 4¼ years. While at the Pennsylvania Academy, Kelley was awarded the William Emlen Cresson European Traveling Scholarship twice - 1954 and 1955 - and received Honorable Mention in the Thomas Eakins Figure Painting Competition in 1954 and won the Celia Beaux Portrait Painting Award in 1955.