Deane Keller was born in New Haven Connecticut in 1901. He earned a degree from the Yale School of Fine Arts in 1926. After studying at the American Academy in Rome, he taught at Yale, while working as a portrait artist. He served in the 5th Army between 1943-1946 as Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives officer in the Tuscany Region of Italy, where he was responsible for the identification and transportation of artworks. From 1943 to 1946 Keller was an MFAA officer in Italy with the United Stated 5th Army. He worked to protect and save damaged art throughout Italy during the war.