John M. Kelly Aquatint Semi Nude Female Portrait

John M. Kelly "Untitled" framed aquatint of semi nude female. It is signed in the lower right corner. Aquatint measure 16 x 13", frame measures 27.5" x 21". 

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1878, John Melville Kelly and his wife, Katherine, a sculptor, went to Hawaii in 1923, for what they thought would be a year, to work with an advertising firm producing tourist promotional material. Kelly had an adventuresome career that included prizefighting and fourteen years of experience as a staff artist for the "San Francisco Examiner". The Kellys immediately identified with the native Hawaiians and became their champions in images and in print. Kelly was a master draftsman, whose etchings and aquatints include ravishing depictions of Polynesians. Although generally thought of as an artist of the human figure, Kelly also produced a significant number of beautiful images of the land.