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Keith Havens (1921 - 2006)

Keith Havens was born in Minneapolis in 1921.  He grew up in the north side  and went to Patrick Henry Junior High School.  His family moved to Robbinsdale, MN and he finished high school in Robbinsdale.  After graduating from high school in 1941, he served as a camouflage expert in the United States Army.

Havens then studied at the Minneapolis School of Art from 1947 to 1949, and led the Children’s Saturday Studio Classes as a student. Part of his education was at the college’s Outdoor School of Painting in Grand Marais, along Lake Superior.  He taught drawing, painting and design for about 13 years at the School of Associated Arts in downtown St. Paul, MN and together with Arthur Kerrick, taught some of the first classes at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts. 


He went on to a full career of painting, teaching, and inventing. His works were in watercolor, oil, charcoal, and ink. He was an author, artist, inventor, and creator of toys and games.  He did several murals in the 1960s for North Memorial Hospital.

Havens loved puns, and his "Vegetable Zoo" sculptures and "Wordy Bird" caricatures depicted creatures like the "One Fell Swoop" and the "Stool Pigeon." His imagination was never-ending: his images were on gallery walls; his caricatures graced magazines and calendars; his patents proved his ingenuity.

He spent many retirement years on his beloved North Shore of Minnesota, where he died in 2006.

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