News Archive 2009-2018

Brooks Rich ’03 Curates Rockwell Kent Exhibition at Philadelphia Museum of Art (ArtDaily) Archives


"Moby Dick or the Whale by Herman Melville." Rockwell Kent, American, 1882 1971. Book. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gift of Gordon A. Block, Jr., 1943. © Plattsburgh State Art Museum, State University of New York, USA, Rockwell Kent Collection, Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton, All rights reserved.

Brooks Rich ’03, the Dorothy J. del Bueno Curatorial Fellow at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has curated an exhibition that examines Rockwell Kent as graphic artist, adventurer and activist. Rockwell Kent-Voyager: An Artist’s Journey in Prints, Drawings, and Illustrated Books, which opened Saturday and runs through July 29, 2012, surveys Kent’s work from 1907 to the 1950s, and includes those that illuminate what some call a commitment to leftist politics from World War I through the McCarthy era.

“Kent’s fortunes rose and fell most dramatically during his lifetime,” says Rich in a description of the exhibition picked up by ArtDaily.

“In the 1920s and 30s, when he achieved celebrity status, he was hailed as one of the most famous graphic artists in America. By the 1950s the artist’s reputation had suffered a decline, due in part to his support of controversial progressive causes and the ascendancy of Abstract Expressionism in avant-garde art circles. Today, as his work attracts renewed interest, the rich collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art offer a fresh opportunity to reconsider the depth and complexity of his achievement.”

The Bowdoin College Museum of Art has a number of works by Rockwell Kent; search the Museum’s collections here.