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Interior, Alaskan cabin, Resurrection Bay, Alaska, 1918–19
Interior, Alaskan cabin, Resurrection Bay, Alaska, 1918–19

    After his expulsion from Newfoundland, Kent and his family returned to New York. Money woes were mounting (Kathleen had given birth to their fourth child). Despite his financial straits, he began laying plans for a lengthy escape to Alaska, a last-ditch effort to salvage his career as a painter.
    When art collector Ferdinand Howald agreed to advance him the funds to support his family, Kent’s Alaskan odyssey drew near. Though eager to enter the wild, he did not look forward to the loneliness.
    Kathleen refused to leave the children with her parents and accompany him, but she agreed to let 9-year-old Rocky join his father on the journey.
    While exploring Resurrection Bay in a borrowed rowboat, Kent and young Rocky hailed an old man in a motor-driven dory. “Come with me,” said 71-year-old Lars Olsen, the sole human inhabitant of Fox Island. “I show you the place to live.”
    Kent renovated an abandoned goat shed, turning it into a comfortable home. For seven months he reveled in this world of isolation and creativity. Homesick for his family, however, and fearing his marriage would finally crumble, he left in March of 1919.
    “Ah, god, and now the world again.”
    The exhibitions of his paintings and drawings that followed re-launched Kent’s career as an artist.
Rockwell Kent III, known as Rocky, outside Kent’s Alaskan cabin.
Rockwell Kent III, known as Rocky, outside Kent’s Alaskan cabin.
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Thumbnail ImageCabin Window, Alaska, 1918-19
oil on wood
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.178]
Thumbnail ImageResurrection Bay, Alaska, 1918-19
oil on wood
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.179]
Thumbnail ImageResurrection Bay, Alaska, 1918
ink on paper
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.116]
Thumbnail ImageFrozen Fall, Alaska, 1919
oil on canvas
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1978.1.5]
Thumbnail ImageResurrection Bay, Alaska, 1920
linecut on paper
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1978.2.113B]
Thumbnail ImageKiller Whales in Resurrection Bay, Alaska, c.1939
oil on canvas
Bequest of Dorothy Schumn Dayton
[P62008.1]
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