?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,500 - $ 3,500
ROCKWELL KENT (1882-1971) Rocky with toy boat. Fox Island, Alaska, circa 1918. Pen and ink on paper, mounted to thicker paper. 127x139 mm; 5x5 1/2 inches, image. Unsigned. Evenly sun- and age-toned. Cornered to window matte.
Provenance: Acquired from descendant of the artist, Patrick Finney to private collection, Los Angeles, 1970; Swann Galleries, September 29, 2016, lot 32; thence to private collection, New York.
A sweet and fairly detailed drawing of Kent's 9-year-old son, Rocky, seated, playing with what appears to be a rough-hewn wooden boat. Kent created many such drawings of Rocky, along with numerous images of local scenery, and a now famous series of large-scale landscapes in oil during their father-son sojourn to Fox Island, Alaska during 1918-19. There the young artist rented a small cabin on a fox and goat farm to live in solitude and to recover from his troubled marriage and a world at war. In 1920, upon his return, Marie Sterner of Knoedler & Co. Gallery, New York, arranged a show of the Alaska drawings. There, publishing giant George Palmer Putnam was so impressed that he urged Kent to combine them with his letters and diary entries to create an illustrated narrative of his trip which Putnam published later that year as "Wilderness: A Journal of Quiet Adventure in Alaska." The book was published just after the opening of a highly successful second Knoedler show featuring the Alaska paintings. The popularity of the two launched Kent's career and secured a long and successful relationship with Putnam who, on the heels of this first venture, helped him become the first "incorporated artist."