Oscar Kelley Anderson Jr.
Aug. 24, 1937 – Jan. 20, 2019
O. Kelley Anderson Jr., beloved husband and father, died recently in Manhattan after a long illness. Born in Winchester, Mass., in 1937, the only child of O. Kelley Anderson Sr. and Alma Weichel Anderson, Kelley was raised on Beacon Hill and in Manchester-by-the-Sea. He spent his formative years at Dexter school, later distinguishing himself in baseball and football at St. Marks School (Class of 1955). He attended Harvard College (Class of 1959) and Harvard Business School (Class of 1962). As an undergraduate, Kelley played freshman football and was a devoted member of the Porcellian Club, where he was at the center of a robust and enduring group of friends.
In 1962, Kelley moved to New York City and married Alexandra Fuller, mother of his two children, Genevieve and Oscar. They later divorced. After a stint in investment banking, Kelley began his true life’s work, becoming a partner at Coe Kerr Gallery, one of the foremost galleries dealing in American works. In 1979, Kelley married Brenda Biggs Anderson. They were married for almost 40 years and raised his two children, her four girls and several dogs in their Manhattan apartment. In 1989, Kelley founded The Art Show, the first art fair of its kind in New York City.
A natural host and consummate gentleman, Kelley delighted in spending summers at his much-loved home in Southwest Harbor, and in Southampton, N.Y. An enthusiastic golfer, hiker, bridge player and Red Sox fan, he never strayed too far from his Boston roots, while moving quickly into leadership positions in Manhattan, including becoming treasurer for the Friends of the Upper East Side. He also served as a governor of The Knickerbocker Club from 2000 until his death, and president from 2013 to 2016. Kelley was a founder of the National Golf Links of America and the Bathing Corporation in Southampton, N.Y., The Somerset Club in Boston, The Pot & Kettle in Northeast Harbor and the Racquet & Tennis Club in Manhattan.
Kelley is survived by his wife and children, their spouses, his four grandchildren, and his stepdaughters and their families. A memorial service will be held in the spring in New York City and this summer in Southwest Harbor.