You are here

Rockwell Kent Collection

Rockwell Kent Collection

Collection Number: 
175
Collection Length: 
5.00ft
Geographic Coverage: 
Adirondack Mountains, New York
Period: 
1914 to 1971
Finding Aid: 
Rockwell Kent Collection

Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) was born in Tarrytown, NY and spent much of his early life in and around New York City. In his late teens he studied painting with William Merritt Chase. He studied architecture at Columbia University before withdrawing to become an artist. Painters Robert Henri and Abbott Thayer were later teachers. His first solo show was in 1907 in Manhattan. An early exposure to travel became a passion throughout his life as he visited, painted, and wrote about his numerous travels to Monhegan Island, Maine, Newfoundland, Alaska, Tierra del Fuego, Ireland, and Greenland, among others. Besides his renown as a painter, Kent was also a gifted printmaker, book illustrator, designer, commercial artist, and popular travel author. A member of the socialist party since his 20s, Kent maintained a life-long commitment to international, national, and local political activism. In the 1940s and 50s his leftist sympathies would cost him both popularity and income as an artist. Kent was married three times: from 1909 to 1925 to Kathleen Whiting, with whom they had five children; from 1926 to 1940 to Frances Lee; and from 1940 to his death to Shirley Sally Johnstone. In 1927 Kent and Frances purchased a dairy farm, and named it Asgaard in Au Sable Forks in the eastern Adirondacks. Throughout his career as an artist and world traveler, Kent would operate Asgaard as a working farm and call it home for the rest of his life.