September 13, 2022 – December 9, 2022
Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) was an author, illustrator, painter, printmaker, and ceramicist. He fascinated viewers with portrayals of some of the earth’s remotest places. Later in his career he became renowned for his block print book illustrations, including The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and Moby Dick, This new exhibition features 50 prints drawn from the Collection of Ralf C. Nemec, the largest assemblage of Rockwell Kent prints in the world.
Kent studied architecture at Columbia University, painted under William Merritt Chase at Shinnecock Hills School, and studied painting with Robert Henri at the New York School of Art with classmates that included George Bellows and Edward Hopper. Encouraged by his teacher to see Maine, he visited Monhegan Island in 1905 and built a home and studio there that he used year-round (through 1910). His numerous jobs as architectural draftsman, illustrator, lobsterman, ship’s carpenter, longshoreman and lighthouse keeper fed his vision.
Kent traveled extensively to Greenland, Tierra del Fuego, Newfoundland, Alaska, and other remote locations, His adventures captured the American imagination and his work transported viewers to the rugged extremes of wilderness. His distinctive style emerged in the early 1900s and seemed inspired by the grand landscapes of the cold, bleak climes he found among the faraway mountains to which he traveled. In the mid-twenties Kent became enamored with woodcutting and lithography and began illustrating classic literature.
While not on his extensive travels, Kent lived mainly in New England, including for six years (1919-1925) at a hillside farm in Arlington,Vermont he named Egypt before moving to his Asgaard Farm in Jay, New York.
Kent exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1904-1911, 1925-1926, 1932-1938; Corcoran Gallery, Washington, 1908-1939 (ten times); Exhibition of Independent Artists, 1910; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; and the Society of Independent Artists, New York, 1917, 1936, and 1941. Rockwell Kent's works can be found at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art; Art Institute of Chicago; Brooklyn Museum; and the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC.
The exhibition which was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions of Los Angeles, CA, premiered at Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, NY, in 2018 and will tour museums through 2023
Image: Rockwell Kent (American, 1882-1971), Blue Bird, 1919. Wood engraving on maple. 6 1/6 x 6 1/6 in. Collection of Ralf C. Nemec.