Rockwell Kent1882 - 1971
Born: June 21, 1882, Tarrytown Heights, New York
Died: March 13, 1971, Plattsburgh, New York
Few artists become legends in their own time, but Rockwell Kent has been acclaimed as such and remains one of the great twentieth-century American artists. Persuaded against an art career by his family, he enrolled in the Columbia University School of Architecture in 1900. Still motivated by an interest in art, Kent took summer and night courses at Chase's New York School and the New York School of Art. In 1902, he entered Chase's on a scholarship, and by 1908, he had his first one man art show and had married Kathleen Whiting. Together they explored Monhegan Island, MA, Newfoundland, Vermont and the Adirondacks, NY. A great artist-adventurer, Kent's travels took him throughout America and to countries around the world including Ireland, Cape Horn, Labrador, Greenland, Denmark, Sweden, and Russia. Kent was particularly interested in Russia, and his outspoken socialist politics caused controversy throughout his life and cost him his passport in the 1950s. A court battle restored his right to travel, and he eventually gave his own collection of his paintings, drawings and graphic works to the Soviet Union. In 1967, he received the Lenin Peace Prize and donated part of the award to North Vietnam. In testimony to his greatness as an American artist, his obituary appeared on the front page of the New York Times in 1971.