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      35 Paintings by Rockwell Kent on Permanent Display

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Photo of a Kent Dinnerware display      Photo, Smithact
Graphic Icon, letter The Rockwell Kent Collection is the most complete and balanced collection of Kent's work in the United States. The acceptance of Shirley (Sally) Johnstone (Kent) Gorton's, third wife of Rockwell Kent, initial gift to the college in 1974 began a process which culminated in the official dedication of the Plattsburgh State Art Museum in 1989. An additional gift from from the Estate of Sally Kent in 2000 and gifts from other generous donors have become the cornerstone of the growing art collection of Plattsburgh State Art Museum. The Collection was originally envisioned by the artist himself and the then President of the College, Dr. George Angell. Other donors to the collection include; Dan Burne Jones, George Spector, Seward W. Pulitzer, Dr. James Chingos and Tom Della Donna.
    The Museum owns 34 paintings by Kent done between 1900 and 1965. The paintings as well as a large collection of prints, drawings, dinnerware, books, design art, photographs, bookplates, archives and personal items from his travels and life at Asgaard Farm near Ausable Forks, NY are on permanent display in the Rockwell Kent Gallery. Books, manuscripts, films and ephemera are available in the Feinberg Library Special Collections.
    The Collectionís prints and drawings span the great expanse of the artistís interests and show the evolution and interrelationship of the ideas in many different media while crossing into the arenas of both commercial and fine art. The drawings include works in pencil, pen, and ink wash. They range from on-the-spot notations to finished works for all the different forms in which he worked. Preliminary and working drawings make it possible for us to witness the often subtle compositional changes made prior to the completion of a print, illustration, painting or decorative object. Others reveal the artistís immediate reaction to visual stimulus and allow us to glimpse the seed from which all great works grow. Examples of this are splendid sets of drawings from initial sketch to final transfer for Wake Up America and Dirty Deborah. The prints and litho stone are also in the collection.
    The Kent Legacies generously donated an outstanding collection of first edition books written and/or illustrated by Rockwell Kent. Perhaps the most spectacular first edition is the Lakeside Press three volume Moby Dick which is in mint condition and housed in the original shipping box. At least one copy of all of Kentís major book work is represented in the collection and the ephemera contains a fine cross section of handsome posters, bookplates, logos, letterheads, book announcements, Christmas cards, exhibition catalogs, and American-Soviet friendship material.
    The Kent Gallery and the Feinberg Library afford an unusual resource to scholars of twentieth century American Art. The Rockwell Kent Collection portrays Kentís growth as an artist, as well as his varied interests of a humane and political nature.

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New Acquisitions to the Kent Collection
photo of New Acquisitions     The Plattsburgh State Art Museum continues to seek unique items to add to the Rockwell Kent Collection. Several items have been added in the past few months. Rockwell Kent designed three items for The Chase Chrome, Copper and Brass Company of Waterbury, Ct. All items had the same young Bacchus motif, and are all considered rare today. The Wine Cooler, 9 1/8" high, catalogue #27015, is cylindrical, with handles, impressed with a plaque of a young Bacchus carrying grapes, with two leaping goats and incised with the initials ďR.K.Ē Ours is made of polished chromium and originally sold for $7.50. It was only in production for a few years and was featured in the 1936 catalogue. The Wine Bottle Stand, 2" high and 4 Ĺ ď in diameter, catalogue #27016 is a matching wine coaster and is also in polished chromium. These items were also made in a combination of polished brass and copper. Kent also designed a cigarette box with the same motif. We continue to look for these items for the collection.
    We also acquired several milk bottles that were used at Asgaard Dairy, a dairy farm owned by Rockwell Kent in Au Sable Forks, NY. These items will be placed on exhibit in the Rockwell Kent Gallery.             Cecilia Esposito

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Copyright Information
For information and copyright requests, email Cecilia Esposito:
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Cecilia Esposito
Plattsburgh State Art Museum
State University College at Plattsburgh
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, New York 12901
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