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Oral history interview with Rockwell Kent, 1969 Feb. 26-27

Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971

Painter, Author, Illustrator


Collection Information

Size: 1 Sound tape reel, Sound recording: (3 hours 30 min.), 7 in.; 40 Pages, Transcript

Summary: An interview of Rockwell Kent conducted 1969 Feb. 26-27, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art. Kent speaks of his family background; his early interest and talent in art; studying painting with Robert Henri and William Merritt Chase; his early studies and work in architecture; Kenneth Hayes Miller as a teacher; experiences which influenced him and inspired him; his travels and explorations; his work in book design and illustration; mural commissions; the American Artists Group; his political life and public affairs. He recalls Merle Armitage and Carl Zigrosser.

Biographical/Historical Note

In addition to being a successful painter, printmaker, illustrator, designer, and commercial artist, Kent pursued careers as a writer, professional lecturer, and dairy farmer. He travelled extensively, and was a political activist who supported the causes of organized labor, civil liberties, civil rights, anti-Fascism, and peace and friendship with the Soviet Union.


These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

Transcript: 35mm microfilm reel 4210 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Rockwell Kent, 1969 Feb. 26-27. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.