Sunday, February 03, 2008

Rockwell Kent

The Washington Post reports that in Russell Banks' new novel, The Reserve, "he focuses on a man who moves confidently among the haves and the have-nots: Jordan Groves, a left-wing artist who sells his pictures to wealthy collectors, seduces their wives, and pals around with their servants. He's loosely based on Rockwell Kent, the celebrated illustrator and labor advocate who donated a number of his works to the Soviet Union, ran afoul of Sen. McCarthy and eventually appeared on a U.S. postage stamp."

One of Kent's illustrations (shown above) appeared as part of the 2001 American Ilustrators sheet. His was the only black and white illustration included.

Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) was a versatile wood engraver, lithographer, book illustrator, painter and muralist. He designed a striking edition of Herman Melville's Moby Dick, and wrote and illustrated accounts of his rugged travels in Alaska, Greenland, and South America.

According to Wikipedia, "In 1938 the U.S. Post Office asked him to paint a mural in their headquarters in Washington, DC; Kent included (in Inuit dialect and in tiny letters) an antigovernment statement in the painting, which caused some consternation."

To learn more about Kent, click here.

To learn more about other illustrators that were also featured, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM