Rockwell Kent acquisition enhances Anchorage Museum's collection of works by this significant American artist
November 18, 2003
The Anchorage Museum of History and Art has recently acquired an original Rockwell Kent drawing titled "Get Up!" The drawing, in pen and ink, was completed while Kent lived on Fox Island in Resurrection Bay near Seward for nine months in 1918-19. This piece greatly enhances the museum's collection of works by this important American painter.
Kent was one of few nationally known artists who painted in Alaska. He was a well-known painter, writer and political activist whose graphic art style recalls the dramatic artwork of the early 19th century English artist, Robert Blake. Kent is most frequently identified with the American Social Realists and the great muralists of the 1920s and 1930s. He stands out in American art for his use of symbolism and his drawings show his meticulous draftsmanship and ability to portray the human form in any pose or manner. "Get Up!" is a drawing that shows the intensely graphic characteristics for which Kent is known and is one of his many images that depict humanity in a struggle to capture ultimate reality and discover the reasons for existence.
"Get Up!" was one of a group of drawings and paintings exhibited at the Knoedler Gallery in New York City in 1920 that brought Kent to national attention in his first commercially successful art exhibit. It is a significant addition to the three paintings, two drawings and seven prints produced by Kent in the museum's permanent collection. This acquisition was made possible by the Anchorage Museum Foundation. For more information, contact Walter Van Horn, curator of collections, at (907) 343-6182.