Rockwell Kent (Rockwell Kent)

Rockwell Kent

Artist, Author, And Political activist. Rockwell Kent had a long and varied career. Born in New York, he studied architecture at Columbia University (1900-03) and art at the New York School of Art (1903-04) During his lifetime, he worked as an architectural draftsman, illustrator, printmaker, painter, lobsterman, ship’s carpenter, and dairy farmer. He was involved with the radical journal, The Masses, And from 1912 to 1916 was responsible for recruiting Maurice Becker to the staff. Kent both wrote and illustrated several books; Wilderness: A Journal of Quiet Adventure in Alaska was published in 1920. Among his other works were Voyaging Southward from the Strait of Magellan (1924); Salamina (1934) about Greenland; and two autobiographies, This is My Own (1940) and It’s me O Lo! rd (1955). Kent stands out in American art in his use of symbolism. Humanity was the hero in most of his prints, which are symbolic representations of certain intuitions about life’s destiny and the meaning of existence. Many of the prints seem to depict humanity in a struggle to capture ultimate reality, to penetrate into the mystery of the dark night of the universe, and to discover the reasons for existence. Over the Ultimate is a tragic but, at the same time, heroic conception. Consider the mood of wonder in Starlight, of terror in The End, the exultation of Pinnacle. When abstract modern art became better known and accepted in the 1940s, Kent’s popularity suffered a commensurate decline. This fall from grace was compounded when he began to espouse unpopular leftist causes; his work was denounced for political reasons.  Kent received the Lenin Peace Prize in 1967, a portion of which he donated to North Vietnam. (bio by: MC)  Family links:  Parents:  George Rockwell Kent (1853 – 1887)  Sara Holgate Kent (1854 – 1947)

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  • June, 21, 1882
  • USA
  • Tarrytown, New York


  • March, 03, 1971
  • USA
  • Pittsburgh, New York

Cause of Death

  • heart attack


  • Kent Estate
  • Au Sable Forks, New York
  • USA

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