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Rockwell Kent Portrait

Rockwell Kent Portrait Rockwell Kent Portrait Rockwell Kent Portrait

Rockwell Kent

Also Known as: Hogarth, Jr.

Born:
Tarrytown Heights, New York 1882

Died:
Plattsburgh, New York 1971

Active in:

  • Au Sable Forks, New York
  • Brigus, Newfoundland, Canada
  • Greenland

Photo Caption:
Rockwell Kent, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0001814

Photo Caption:
Rockwell Kent, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0001817

Photo Caption:
Rockwell Kent, Self-Portrait (It's Me O Lord), 1934, lithograph on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase 1972.34.

Photo Caption:
Rockwell Kent, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0001816

Luce Artist Quote

“I think the ideals of youth are fine, clear and unencumbered; that the real art of living consists in keeping alive the conscience and sense of values we had when we were young.” Rockwell Kent, quoted in Whitman, “Man of Many Skills: Rockwell Kent, Controversial Artist, Is Dead,” New York Times, March 14, 1971


Biography

Painter, graphic artist, and writer. He developed a signature style of sculptural characterizations and traveled widely, illustrating his accounts of trips to Greenland, Alaska, and the Strait of Magellan. Politically active throughout his life, he received the Lenin Peace Prize—the Soviet-bloc counterpart to the Nobel Prize for Peace—in 1967.

Joan Stahl American Artists in Photographic Portraits from the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection (Washington, D.C. and Mineola, New York: National Museum of American Art and Dover Publications, Inc., 1995)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Rockwell Kent’s obituary described him as “lean and sinewy” and “prematurely bald,” with a “long, square-jawed face . . . dominated by burning gray eyes under bushy brows.” His fiery personality matched his striking appearance. Kent started his career as a carpenter but made a name for himself with paintings of the rugged landscapes in Alaska and Greenland. He also made poetic, haunting illustrations for popular novels, including a reprint of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. His paintings, etchings, and woodcuts reflected an adventurous spirit that led him to distant territories and to a sympathy for working people everywhere. Kent once said that “I am still disturbed by the fact that there are some people with a lot of money and a lot of people with no money and a few million with no jobs.” He was eventually branded a Communist during the 1950s “Red scare,” and yet, the art world continued to embrace Kent and his work. Major museums collected his paintings and his prints were reproduced widely during his lifetime. (Whitman, “Man of Many Skills: Rockwell Kent, Controversial Artist, Is Dead,” New York Times, March 14, 1971)