Biography of Keith Shaw Williams

Keith Shaw Williams, American (1905-1951) During a period when American modernism and abstraction generally received a vast amount of critical acclaim, it is a testament to his talents and skill that Keith Shaw Williams was so successful. In December 1949, he was featured in an article in the magazine American Artist in which the critic states “he is an accomplished draftsman, an unusually good composer and his color is quite generally applauded.” Keith Shaw Williams, a talented protege of Ernest D. Roth, received his formal training at the National Academy of Design and in Paris at the Academie Collorassi.

He further studied with Ivan Olinsky, Daniel Garber and Charles Hawthorne. He was a member of the Salmagundi Club, Society of American Etchers, American Water Color Society, Allied Artists of America, Chicago Society of Etchers, and Artists' Fellowship. He was elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design in 1939 and a full Academician in 1942.

Williams exhibited actively and was honored with numerous prizes in his short lifetime: the National Academy of Design (prize, 1935); Salmagundi Club (1936-40, numerous prizes); the Library of Congress (prize, 1946); Allied Artists of American (medals, 1938 & 1940); Montclair Art Museum (medal, 1941); American Artists Professional League (medal, 1941); National Arts Club (prize, 1928). Williams also taught at the Grand Central School of Art. His work is represented in many public and private collections including the New York Historical Society, the National Academy of Design, the Salmagundi Club, Library of Congress and the Rollins College Museum of Art. In his own words, “the creative artist, if he is to make any real contribution, must honestly and sincerely interpret what he sees and feels in his own particular way; for good painting is not conditioned by method of interpretation nor by fashion of day…I have tried to express in a recognizable manner the beauty, character, and mood of the subjects.” Williams painted figures, landscapes, and still lifes, and these works reflect his sincere interest in all professed. .