New Gallery Opens In Ocean Springs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/26/04

New Gallery Opens In Ocean Springs

A new art gallery in Ocean Springs features the work of a longtime coast resident who made his living sketching famous faces.

The "Albert Duckett" gallery is now open in the Mary C. O'Keefe cultural center on Government Street.

The late artist's son helped build and pay for the new gallery, calling it a true "labor of love".

Colorful oil paintings fill half of the two room gallery. Albert Duckett painted with oils mostly for fun. The front half of the gallery features pen and ink drawings of some famous faces.

"The one that I really like is over here where dad was covering the Al Capone trial," said the artist's son, Bruce Duckett, as he proudly showed his father's works.

Albert Duckett may have captured Capone's mug with pen and paper, but he apparently angered the gangster in doing so.

"Al Capone took offense at one of dad's cartoons. It was very clear Capone was very unhappy with my dad. And the editor had to take him off it," Bruce Duckett explained.

Along with editorial cartoons, a series of sports drawings show the artist's attention to detail.

"The other sketches he did, like the sports ones with the horses and the boxers, they're tremendously detailed. And they're just really amazing to look at and realize that's a pen and ink drawing," said Duckett.

Pen and ink provided a living for Albert Duckett, but his talents went much deeper.

"He did these oil paintings for fun," said the son, as he walked into the half of the gallery featuring oil paintings on canvas and masonite.

A self portrait captures the artist, who volunteered for duty in World War Two. After the war, he created and sold these picture post cards at his gift shop in Biloxi. Albert Duckett was well known in Biloxi.

"He saw some of Joe Moran's work. And it was a challenge to him as an artist. Could he paint a boat? Because he knew Joe built boats and understood the shape of boats. And dad said.. I'll take that as a challenge," Bruce Duckett said.

The younger Duckett challenged himself to find a special way to honor his father and his artwork. The result is the new gallery within the Mary C. O'Keefe cultural center.

"This is going to be an asset for Ocean Springs. And that's what it's intended to be," said Bruce Duckett.

The works of Albert Duckett will be displayed in the gallery until February. After that, the exhibit space will also feature the works of other area artists.

By Steve Phillips

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