Rob Roy Kelly - News Release
- cross posting
after reading the post late last week on Rob Roy Kelly's passing i did some
digging around on the 'net.
not sure if this is what the NYTimes has for an obit, but I received this
from Kelly's wife Mary Helen with permission to post it here.
if you would like to send a message to Mary Helen Kelly, you can email her
best, m | interrobang
ROB ROY KELLY, MASTER TEACHER, 1925-2004
For information, call: Mary Helen Kelly, 480-990-8411
Or Shaun Kelly, 480-948-0014, designlin.shaun@...
Roy Roy Kelly, 78, Professor Emeritus of Graphic Design at Arizona State
University died from cardio-pulmonary failure on January 23, at his home in
Tempe, Arizona. He had a long and distinguished career as a Graphic Design
educator and was instrumental in establishing professional Graphic Design
programs at The Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Kansas City Art Institute,
Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and Arizona State University,
Concurrent with teaching, Professor Kelly carried on a professional
practice, and had a lively interest in research and writing. While in
Minneapolis, he did design work for Walker Art Center and The Gutherie
Theatre. In Pittsburgh, he was staff designer at The Hunt Institute for
Botanical Documentation, and in Kansas City he directed development of a
city identity system and seal. Likewise, at Arizona State University he
supervised student work in developing the logo for the City of Tempe, and a
signage system for the Phoenix Children¹s Zoo.
He devoted thirteen years to the collection of American wood type and wrote
the definitive text on the subject, American Wood Types: 1828-1900,
published in 1969. Similarly, he collected American cast-iron trivets and
stands collaborating with The Shelburne Museum and fellow collector, James
Ellwood, to publish a 1990 comprehensive book. Professor Kelly had a
life-long interest in antiques. He collected and documented over 1,500
kitchen tinware, cast-iron, ceramic, glass, wood and wire vessels and tools,
manufactured between 1870 and 1930. These artifacts were donated to The
Arizona Historical Society Museum in Tempe, as a study collection. Memorial
contributions would be welcome to support cataloging, photographing and
completing an educational website of The Kelly Kitchenware Collection.
Address checks to The Arizona Historical Society Museum, Note: Kelly
Kitchenware Collection, 1300 N. College Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281. Professor
Kelly also donated his wood type for a study resource at the University of
In 2001, a website, titled Everything is a Work in Progress, was developed
to present Professor Kelly¹s collected writings on Graphic Design education.
This project was done by graduate students in conjunction with the donation
of Kelly¹s papers to Rochester Institute of Technology, where the
publication of a book is in progress. Professor Kelly¹s association with
RIT began in 1974, when he was awarded a one-year appointment as The Kern
Institute Professor for Communications. As a memorial to Professor Kelly,
contributions are being accepted for organization of these archival
materials, refinement of the website, and preparation of the book
manuscript. Address checks to: The Rob Roy Kelly Legacy Fund, Development
Office, Rochester Institute of Technology, 116 Lomb Memorial Drive,
Rochester, NY 14623.
The achievements of which Professor Kelly was most proud were those of his
former students and colleagues whom he mentored. Many of his students
studied at his Alma Mater, Yale University, in the Graphic Design program
where Mr. Kelly was one of its first graduates. Rob Roy Kelly attended the
University of Nebraska and received the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from
The Minneapolis Institute of Art in 1951. He earned a Master of Fine Arts
degree from Yale University in 1955. Later he was awarded an honorary Doctor
of Fine Arts from The Minneapolis Institute of Art. In 1989, he was the
first recipient of the Master Teacher Award from the Graphic Design
Educators Association, and in 1983 the Minnesota Graphic Design Association
honored him with a Design for Society Award. During World War II, he served
in the United States Marine Corp.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Helen Prine Kelly, and his former spouse
Cherry Barthel of Kansas City, who is the mother of his four surviving
children, three sons, Rob Roy B. Kelly of Mankato, MN, Denri Kelly and Troy
Kelly of Kansas City, MO, and a daughter, Shaun Kelly, of Scottsdale, AZ.
His brother, Max Kelly, resides in Prescott Valley, AZ; and his son, a
nephew, Michael Kelly, lives in California. A sister, Ruth Kelly, preceded
him in death. There are four grandchildren, Nathan Paul Kelly, son of Denri
Kelly, and Lauren Kelly, daughter of Troy Kelly. The eldest son, Rob Roy B.
Kelly, is the father of grandson, R.J. Kelly, and granddaughter, Anne Kelly
(Busick), who is the mother of a great granddaughter, Mckayla. Shaun Kelly
follows in the footsteps of her illustrious father. Having graduated from
the Graphic Design program at Carnegie-Mellon University, she is a design
professional with the firm DesignLin Advertising of Scottsdale.