Rockwell Kent, This is My Own - New York State Museum.
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Manipulated photograph of Abbott Thayer, Thayer family, and Rockwell Kent (with halo), Dublin, New Hampshire,
1903
Manipulated photograph of Abbott Thayer,
Thayer family, and Rockwell Kent (with halo),
Dublin, New Hampshire, 1903

    In the summer of 1903, Kent served as an apprentice to Abbott Thayer, an eccentric artist who lived with his family in Dublin, New Hampshire. Thayer’s compound consisted of a drafty, sparsely furnished former summerhouse as well as several makeshift lean-tos where family members slept, even in winter.

    Despite their curious ways, Kent enjoyed the Thayer household, calling it one of the richest cultural experiences of his life. It was here that he drew nearer to nature and first read the Icelandic sagas that inspired his northern sojourns.

    Thayer quickly recognized Kent’s talent and encouraged him to paint the countryside that surrounded his ramshackle retreat. Bolstered by the sale of two paintings, Kent quit Columbia and began full-time study at the New York School of Art.

    During the winter of 1907–08, he met Abbott Thayer’s niece, 17-year-old Kathleen Whiting. Within weeks he had won her heart and asked for her hand.

    On December 31, 1908, Kent and Kathleen were wed. Years later he wrote, “If in my boyish experience I could only have known how little the judgment and promises of the innocent are to be relied upon, what endless sorrows might have been averted.”

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Thumbnail ImageLate Afternoon in New Hampshire Field, 1905
oil on canvas
Museum Purchase, Sally Kent Gorton Endowment
[P62008.5]
Thumbnail ImageTrees, 1906
oil on panel
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1978.1.12]
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