McDaniel was born in New Jersey, and he received a BFA from Temple University. He died age 37.
McDaniel work at Nantucket Looms, and he exhibited across the street at the Main Street Gallery starting in its first year of operation at 19 Main, with his first solo show on 8/20/73, and he held solo shows there in consecutive years into the 1980s, his last opening on 8/3/85.
Keith McDaniel, who worked at Nantucket Looms on the Island starting in 1971, was born in Newark, New Jersey, and studied at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Mrs. Paul Mellon recognized his talent when she bought two of his paintings for her famous collection of contemporary art. Other of his collectors included Mr. Charles Ryskamp, Mrs. Lawrence Warner, Mr. Andrew Oates, Mr. William Euler, Mrs. Eugenie Voorees, Mr. Goerge Davis, Mr. Arthur Smith, Miss Deborah Franke and Mr. Paul O’Brien.
“My initial concern in painting is with design and composition. By painting a series of Nantucket doors I became intrigued with various architectural forms and the variations which exist within them. Buildings I chose as the subject derived a certain beauty from their utilitarian nature,” McDaniel said in 1977. He treated rooftops, windows, and walls as abstract shapes and painted them from unusual viewpoints.
A longtime resident of Boston, McDaniel painted compositions based on the city’s diverse architectural styles. Concerned with both interior and exterior space, McDaniel sought out unusual structures—a fortress on an island in Boston harbor, wharf buildings on Nantucket Island— finding a unique harmony in their aging architectural forms. Typically unpopulated, McDaniel’s landscapes retain strong geometric overtones. By simplifying lighting patterns and stressing asymmetry in both structure and viewpoint, McDaniel imbued his scenes with an air of mystery and implicit narrative.
Four of his paintings from the Sara Roby Foundation Collection are in the Smithsonian Museum collection, including “On the Wharf” from 1977, a view of the then rooftops of the Steamship Authority on Steamboat Wharf.