Art on This Day
The Lookout, 1930. Rockwell Kent
Rockwell Kent was an American artist best known for his signature, smooth style of landscape painting. Kent lived much of his early life in and around New York City where he attended the Horace Mann School. Kent studied with several influential painters and theorists of his day. The artist initially graduated with an undergraduate degree in architecture from Columbia University in New York, and later studied composition and design at the Art Students League in 1900 before dedicating himself to painting.
Resurrection Bay, Alaska (1939), by Rockwell Kent
He was often cited as an early American Modernist, whose work focuses on the otherworldly beauty of nature as seen above. Kent was influenced by Transcendentalism and the mysticism of writers such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Kent also made numerous extended visits to international areas of isolated wilderness, including Tierra del Fuego, Alaska, and Greenland, which served as inspiration to his work.
His paintings are heavily stylized, with organic forms taking on geometric qualities and contrasting color relationships.
Sometime in the 1910s, he purchased an Adirondack farmstead which he named Asgaard from where he continued to work prolifically.
He achieved considerable success in the 20th century, garnering awards such as the 1967 reception of the International Lenin Peace Prize from the Soviet Union, along with a monetary prize which Kent donated to the people of Vietnam.
Born on June 21, 1882, in Tarrytown, NY, he died of a heart attack on this day in 1971. The New York Times described him as "... a thoughtful, troublesome, profoundly independent, odd and kind man who made an imperishable contribution to the art of bookmaking in the United States."
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