Rockwell Kent

My first glimpse of Rockwell Kent’s art was on a dinner plate: Salamina. My family had a set, and they were my favorite dishes when I was a child.

Kent (1882-1971) was a famous artist and book illustrator, adventurer and political activist. He was well known for his illustrations of Moby Dick.

His prints pack a punch with their strong imagery and high contrast,

..and attention to anatomy.Last week I was looking through a book of his art and was surprised to learn that he also designed fabric! Here are some of his fabric designs.

A Moby Dick Scarf,

and repeating designs for yardage.

The book showed the textile designs in black and white, and described the colors used.  I found a few color examples of his prints on-line.

I like that Kent’s art was part of people’s lives in the form of ceramics, textiles, book illustrations and paintings.

Please click on this link to a biography of Rockwell Kent at the National Gallery of Art if you would like to know more about him.



6 responses to “Rockwell Kent

  1. Thank you for sharing about Kent, who I was completely unfamiliar with. Ceramics are a special passion of mine–what a treat to grow up with his art on your dishes.

  2. Hi Julie, I studied the works of Rockwell Kent because some of his paintings that interpreted pieces of classical music into visual art were used by the Steinway Piano company as advertisements in an old music magazine called The Etude in the early part of 20th century. Being a musician, these intrigued me and I began reading more about him. His political activism also is very noteworthy. He really had quite a diverse body of work.

    • Wow – that is so interesting. I did not know that Rockwell Kent interpreted music in his paintings. I have a book of sketches that Maurice Sendak did – he wrote under each sketch what music he was listening to. I like that idea.

  3. Smithsonian Magazine did an article on him over ten years ago, I wish I kept it. . He did a series of posters in the Workers Unite! genre. amazing work. love ’em! Thanks for your post.

    • Thanks for your comment. I wish I had seen it! After reading your comment I googled “Rockwell Kent Smithsonian Magazine”. I found an interesting article, but it only included one illustration.

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