Rockwell Kent

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Alt text: Pencil sketch of a Native American father sitting and staring ahead in deep contemplation while his small son stands beside him waving

Rockwell Kent
American, 1882 – 1971

Untitled (Study for Father and Son)
Pencil on paper
5 H. x 5 ½ W. inches

Artist Description

One of America’s finest painters, Rockwell Kent pursued a life of art and culture. He also worked as an illustrator, designer, and printmaker, and was equally well known for his intellectual writings, far-reaching travel, support of artists’ issues, and political activism. To Kent, painting was a highly philosophical exercise for individual expression. His clear, simplified landscapes of the mid-twentieth century stand as a figural counterpoint to abstractionism.

Born in Tarrytown, New York, Kent, at the age of thirteen, accompanied his aunt (a watercolorist and ceramic painter herself) on a tour of Europe where he first studied the old masters. This experience, coupled with his teenaged studies with William Merritt Chase in Shinnecock Hills, inspired the young man to become an artist. After three years on scholarship at the Columbia University School of Architecture, he withdrew to study at the New York School of Art, Chase’s winter center. There, he became a friend and colleague to his teacher Robert Henri, as well as to fellow students of the Ashcan School, George Bellows and Edward Hopper. As a mature artist, Kent loved the outdoors and sought to interpret nature through landscape painting. He traveled extensively to paint, spending time in Monhegan Island, Maine and Europe, and visiting remote locales in Alaska, Newfoundland, Greenland, and Tierra del Fuego.

Kent’s work is represented in the country’s leading museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Minneapolis Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and The Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, South Carolina.

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