Michael Keane (1948-2015)
The art world is a little less bright today as we learn of the unexpected passing of Michael Keane.
For the last three decades, Michael brought joy to those who viewed his artwork. His serene and luminous marine paintings portrayed the warmth of summer days spent sailing on Nantucket Sound. Keane had the remarkable ability to transport a viewer; to gaze at one of Michael’s beautiful and obviously lovingly wrought images is to imagine yourself cruising on the open sea–whether on a striped sail Beetle Cat or a majestic J-Class yacht, it’s the next best thing to actually being out there.
A man of few words with a bit of a no-nonsense exterior, Michael had a heart of gold. Most of you were introduced to him through his gift of painting. I knew him not only as an artist, but as a husband, father, grandfather, fellow sailor, car enthusiast, mentor and friend. I had the opportunity to be in his company as he shared information about his family ancestry, or told wild stories about his teenage years on the south shore of Boston and California; we talked about topics that ranged from politics, carburetors, yacht design, painting plans to marketing. A consummate professional, design and composition were everything to Michael. He took pride in every detail of the finished product, including the large bright gold leaf frame that completed each piece. When I decided in 2005 to open my own gallery, Michael was the second artist (the first was my father) to call me and say he would come on board, giving me the boost in confidence I needed to take that plunge.
Where Michael Keane will be placed in the world of marine masters only time and the unfolding of history will tell, but for me his contribution to the art world, the island of Nantucket, the gallery and to my life will never be forgotten.
Fair Winds and Following Seas Michael.