The papers include extensive information on the professional and personal lives of Deane Keller. The collection details the practice, clientele and income of a professional portrait painter in the twentieth century. Documentation of Keller's career provides valuable commentary on the coexistence of traditional and avant garde art forms. It also illustrates the continuing demand for painted portraits in an age of mechanical reproduction, when photographs provided an affordable, but not always utilized, alternative. The collection also includes extensive records of Allied attempts to protect Italian art objects during World War II, dating from Keller's service as a Fine Arts officer attached to the Fifth Army in Italy. Visual and textual materials document Keller's activities and the fate of specific monuments and collections. These materials on the German and Allied struggle to control and preserve Italian artistic patrimony vividly illustrate the cultural and propagandistic importance of museums and art objects in Western culture. Keller's life as a soldier is described in his extensive wartime correspondence. Family relationships are also documented through correspondence. Of particular interest is that between Keller and his father, Albert, the eminent Yale professor of sociology dedicated to continuing the work of William Graham Sumner. These letters document the father-son relationship as well as the elder Keller's political and academic opinions.