Biografie von Rockwell KENT (1882-1971)

Birth place: Tarrytown Heights, NY

Death place: near Plattsburgh, NY

Addresses: Au Sable Forks, Tarrytown, NY

Profession: Engraver, lithographer, block printer, painter, mural painter, illustrator, writer

Studied: Sch. Arch., Columbia Univ.; William Chase, Shinnecock, 1897-1900; New York Sch. Art, with Robert Henri and K.H. Miller, 1903-04; apprenticed with Abbott Thayer, New Hampshire, summer, 1903

Exhibited: PAFA Ann., 1904-11, 1925-26, 1932-38; Corcoran Gal., 1908-39 (10 times); Exh. of Indep. Artists, 1910; WMAA; AIC; S. Indp. A., 1917, 1936, 1941

Member: Art Lg. Am. (pres.); Am. Artists Congress; Un. Am. Artists; NIAL; Acad. FA, USSR (honorary member); Woodstock AA

Work: PMA (large coll. of prints); MMA; WMAA; AIC; BM; CGA; Phillips Coll.; Cleveland Mus. A.; Woodstock AA; SUNY Coll. at Plattsburgh; Bowdoin Col. Mus. of Art; Pushkin Mus., Moscow. WPA murals, USPO, Fed. Bldg., Wash., DC; room of House Comt. on Interstate & Foreign Commerce, Wash., DC.

Comments: Before becoming well known for his illustrations, he studied landscape and marine painting with William Chase at Shinnecock when he was only 16-17 years of age. Many of Kent's works reflect his own experiences from his many travels to places like Greenland, Alaska, Tierra del Fuego, and Ireland; he also painted from time to time on Monhegan Island, ME. Kent was politically active throughout his career; a member of the Socialist party, his Communist affiliations were well-known and he was blacklisted in the McCarthy era. He won the Lenin Peace Prize in 1967 and refused to become a member of the National Academy when elected. Signature note: His early works may be signed as "H. Jr.," which stood for his psuedonym, "Hogarth, Jr." His mature oils are consistently signed "Rockwell Kent." Lectures: "Art and Democracy." Auth./illustr.: Wilderness, 1920; Voyaging, 1924; North by East, 1930; Salamina, 1935; This Is My Own, 1940; It's Me, O Lord, (autobiography) 1955; Of Men and Mountains, 1959; Greenland Journal, 1962. Illustr.: Candide; Moby Dick; Canterbury Tales; Venus and Adonis; Beowulf; Leaves of Grass, and works of Shakespeare.

Sources: WW66; WW47; Fridolf Johnson, Rockwell Kent: An Anthololgy of his Work (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1982); Baigell, Dictionary, Curtis, Curtis, and Lieberman, 184; Pisano, The Students of William M. Chase, 19; Falk, Exh. Record Series.

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