Cooper Hewitt says...
Brian Connelly (American, 1926-1962), a trompe l’oeil painter, studied at the University of Oregon before moving to New York City. Although he is considered self-taught, he studied briefly at the Art Students League of New York. He had his first show at the American-British Art Gallery in 1950.
In 1952, Connelly won the Popular Prize of the Carnegie International Exhibition.
In the late 1940s or early 1950s, he became involved with Associated American Artists (AAA), through which De Beers Diamonds commissioned him to paint for their advertisements. He also sold textile designs through AAA.
Additionally, the cover of the August 1952 issue of Fortune magazine features one of his illustrations.
Connelly later settled in Wilton, Connecticut. The exotic plants he cultivated there feature in some of his later work. He died at age 37 of Bright’s disease.
There is currently one example of Connelly’s work in the museum’s collection: Textile, Golf Magic, ca. 1953 (2002-23-1). Examples of his work are also held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, and the De Beers Collection.