Rockwell Kent was one of those
who truly lived more lives than one. Into his long life he crammed
more careers than any ordinary man would seriously contemplate.
Painter, muralist, illustrator, printmaker, book designer, graphic
artist, architect and builder, writer and editor, speaker and lecturer,
navigator and restless traveler, political and social activist—he was
all these and much more.
This is not to say he was merely a jack-of-all-trades. As a painter, he
won critical acclaim and his canvases were acquired by important
museums and discriminating collectors. He was the first artist to
incorporate himself, paying his shareholders handsome dividends.
From long sojourns in Alaska, Tierra del Fuego and Greenland,
among others, he brought back powerful paintings and vivid
accounts of his experiences. The romantic appeal of the paintings
and the circumstances of their production in faraway places brought
large crowds to see them. Perhaps no other American artist before
him has so graphically expressed the sense of remoteness and awesome
splendor of the Arctic.
– Fridolf Johnson
Rockwell Kent: An Anthology of His Work
Artist Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) once said that “art is no more than the shadow cast by a man’s own stature.” This exhibition of materials from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh chronicles the life of a great New Yorker and his work, which was born out of both remarkable personal experience and a deep sense of moral and political principle.
The Rockwell Kent Collection at Plattsburgh, established by a gift and bequest from Sally Kent Gorton between 1978 and 2000, continues to grow. It includes paintings, drawings, prints, books, bookplates, photographs, dinnerware, advertising art, and more, and is thus the most complete and balanced assemblage of Kent’s work in the United States.
Tour the Exhibition
This exhibition was curated by Cecilia M. Esposito|
Director, Plattsburgh State Art Museum
Biographical text by Frederick Lewis
Associate Professor at Ohio University