Kaplan & Keene at 100
Kaplan & Keene at 100
Jerome Kaplan, Paul Keene
Jerry Kaplan and Paul Keene were both born in Philadelphia in 1920. Jerry grew up in Ardmore, the son of a Lithuanian Jewish American tailor. Paul grew up in North Philadelphia, the son of a Black funeral director. They both entered the Philadelphia Museum School of Art (now University of the Arts) in 1939. Their studies were interrupted by World War II. Paul enlisted in the Air Force in 1941, and became a bombardier with the Tuskegee Airmen. Jerry enlisted in the Army in 1942 and served as a medic in North Africa. When they came home, Paul went to Tyler School of Art, Temple University and Jerry returned to the Philadelphia Museum School. After graduation in 1947 Jerry started teaching printmaking at PMSA. And after Paul’s graduation, study at Academie Julian, and two John Hay Whitney Opportunity fellowships at Le Centre d’Arte in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, he began teaching at what had by then become Philadelphia College of Art in 1954. Their paths had crossed, they had known each other as freshmen in art school, but became close friends as faculty at PCA. Both men enjoyed long careers as distinguished educators in addition to the international recognition of their achievements as artists. They each exhibited widely. Jerry was invited to work with master printers in lithography at Tamarind Institute in 1962 and used his 1961 Guggenheim Fellowship award to work at Atelier Lacouriere in Paris in 1963.
Both Jerry and Paul were quiet men with a subtle and mischievous sense of humor. Both men enjoyed long marriages with loving wives and each produced 2 adoring children. They both loved jazz and spent hours together listening to records, talking about Count Basie, Ben Webster, Miles Davis. We don’t know that they talked much about art – they both were of the opinion that you made art, you didn’t talk about it – but they respected each other as artists. They were good and dependable friends for the rest of their lives.
It is our honor and pleasure to celebrate these distinguished artists in their 100th year.
Jerome Kaplan, Rocks of Ages 1961
Celebrating the lasting friendship and legacies of Jermome Kaplan and Paul Keene.
Jerome Kaplan, printing a litho stone
Paul Keene, pensive
establish, and Salon de Mai (1950-51); and in Africa at the Lagos Museum, Nigeria (1961 & 1982). He exhibited extensively throughout the USA including 2 solo museum exhibitions at Michener Art Museum; the African American Museum in Philadelphia; and at LaSalle University Art Museum which traveled to the Museum of Art at North Carolina Central University. His works are held in the permanent collections at the British Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, John E Lewis Musuem, Michener Art Museum, Palmer Museum of Art, Nigerian National Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Woodmere Art Museum, and Dallas Museum of Art
Jerome Kaplan, American 1920-1997, began exhibiting his work in annual exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Library of Congress and the Philadelphia Print Club, where he served on Board of Governors. The Print Club mounted survey exhibition of Jerry’s works in 1969 and 1995. In 1979 he was commissioned to make a folio of etchings at the White House. His work is included in many museum collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Palmer Museum of Art, Asheville Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Georgia College, Museum of Modern Art, New York, the British Museum, Art Institute of Chicago