Center for the Arts

Vero Beach, FL




Florida artist Julia Kelly comes from a very talented family. Her grandfather is the renowned watercolorist John Whorf and her mother Nancy Whorf is also a painter of note. The public is invited to see paintings by all three artists in the Schumann Florida Gallery at the Center for the Arts, Vero Beach, as they present the exhibition "Three Generations." The exhibition continues through July 16, 2000.

Julia Kelly (b. 1953) grew up in Provincetown, Massachusetts, a resort town located at the tip of Cape God. Noted for its historic art colony, Provincetown's rich subject matter and vivid light have inspired Kelly's paintings as well those of her mother and grandfather. Kelly is proficient in both watercolor and oil. She is known in Florida for her topical landscapes and exotic still lifes, but the brilliantly colored paintings that she is showing in the exhibition are of her native Provincetown.

Julia Kelly from left to right: Autumn Vines, 1999, oil on canvas, 27 x 33 inches; Cook Street Afterglow, 1999, oil on canvas, 38 x 57 inches

Kelly's mother, Nancy Whorf (b. 1930), paints in oil with a bold palette knife technique. She depicts Provincetown, Massachusetts, in many moods and in different seasons, from winter squalls that bluster down Main Street to sunny mornings when fishermen bustle on the docks. The earliest art lessons that both she and her daughter, Julia, received were from the patriarch of this artistic family, John Whorf (1903-1959).


Nancy Whorf from left to right: Trawler Sterns, 1999, oil on pressboard, 27 x 31 inches; Two Men in Slickers, 1998, oil on pressboard, 31 x 27 inches

John Whorf achieved fame for his sparkling watercolors of Cape God's fishing trade and of men whose livelihoods and recreation were pursued in the out-of-doors. Born in Winthrop, Massachusetts, Whorf studied art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School and independently with some of the leading painters of the day. He had his first solo exhibition in Boston at the age of twenty-one, where his work received a high compliment in the form of a purchase by John Singer Sargent; Whorf subsequently studied with Sargent for two years. Whorf married in 1925 and became the father of four children. He chose Provincetown, Massachusetts as his home and exhibited in Boston and New York with brilliant success. His work is in major collections including the Metropolitan Museum and Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

John Whorf from left to right: Bluejays, 1943, watercolor on paper, 27 x 33 inches; Island Princess, 1945, watercolor on paper, 33 x 41 inches

The exhibition is made possible through the generosity of Mrs. Norris K. Ekstrom.

Read more about the Center for the Arts in Resource Library Magazine

Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.

For further biographical information please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 2/28/11

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