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MS005: Albert Anderson Collection on Rockwell Kent

Identifier: MS005

Scope and Contents

The original items in the collection are the two photographic prints and a substantial group of letters written by Rockwell Kent to Louis Untermeyer, from 1933-1958. Most of the letters were written in the 1930s, and they reveal a close friendship with Untermeyer during that time, and describe his life and work. They are sometimes humorous, and give the reader some insight into Kent as a person.

Series I is art and writing of Rockwell Kent, which range from 1919-1962.

Series II is letters from1933-1977, all written to Louis Untermeyer

Series III has writings and letter about Rockwell Kent and his work, which wange from1955-1965.

Series IV has catalogs, which were published between 1974-1982.

Series V is a list of Kent's work.

Series VI is a photograph of Kent c. 1933.

Series VII is volumes 1-6 of the Kent Collector.


  • 1919-1982

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use

Conditions Governing Use

Permission of archivist

Biographical / Historical

Rockwell Kent was born June 21, 1882 in Tarrytown Heights, New York. His family was wealthy until his father died when Kent was five years old. in 1895, his great aunt took Kent to Europe with her. When they returned, she began making china and Kent helped her paint the china. Kent became a day student at the Horace Mann School in New York City, and then attended Columbia University, where he studied architecture. He had also begun studying art, and left Columbia after two years, and became a student at the New York School of Art.

In 1905 Kent moved to Maine to paint. Over the years, he earned money through a variety of jobs. Once he became recognized as an artist, he illustrated books and did illustrations to advertise products to supplement his own art, which often focused on places he traveled, including Newfoundland, Alaska and Greenland. He authored and illustrated autobiographical works related to his travels. He was a versatile artist, both in the media he used and his subjects. He did landscapes and seascapes, figure drawings, paintings, etchings and lithographs. His work was displayed in many museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Chicago Art Institute and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Kent was a political activist. He became a Socialist, and supported the Communist party and the Soviet Union from the 1930s into the 1960s. Some of his art reflected his political views. His popularity as an artist was greatest during the 1920s and 1930s, and declined after that, partly because of the growth of abstract expressionism and party because of his political views.

Kent was married three times, to Kathleen Whiting in 1909 (divorced in 1926), to Frances Lee in 1926, and to Sally Johnstone in 1940. He had five children with his first wife, Kathleen. He continued his painting and his activism throughout his life. He died March 13, 1971 at his farm in the Adirondack Mountains in New York.

[this biographical information was taken from Biography Resource Center, Gale Group]


0.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection is comprised of drawings and articles by Rockwell Kent, illustrations for various publications, articles about him, reviews of his work, exhibit and booksellers' catalogs, lists of his work by his biographer, and two photographs. These materials cover the time period from 1919 to 1982. Also included are six volumes of The Kent Collector.

  • Artists Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • Illustrations Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • Illustrators Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
Arthur Carlson
March 2020
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Revision Statements

  • March 18, 2020: Updated container list information by Arthur Carlson

Repository Details

Part of the WPI Manuscript Collections Repository

100 Institute Rd
George C. Gordon Library
Worcester MA 01609 USA