Sep 29, 2016 - Sale 2423

Sale 2423 - Lot 31

Price Realized: $ 5,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 7,000 - $ 10,000
"Rockwell / Alaska MCMXVIII" Frontispiece illustration to "Wilderness: A Journal of Quiet Adventure in Alaska." Pen and ink on paper. 184x130 mm; 7 1/4x5 1/8 inches, image, on sheet measuring 13 1/4x10 7/8 inches. Titled and dated in image, initialed in lower left image, and Knoedler catalogue number 42, in Kent's hand, in lower left corner directly below image, "Frontis" penciled along top margin. Image toned, remnants of early (possibly original) mounting glue at corners and far edges. Cornered to window matte and framed. Provenance: Acquired from descendant of the artist, Patrick Finney, to current owner.

Additional Details

the original frontispiece drawing for kent's famous first illustrated book. 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, including this work. 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." The pencil sketch for this drawing is in the Houghton Library collection.

Accompanying the lot is a copy of the revised signed, limited edition of Wilderness published by the Ward Ritchie Press which contains previously unpublished passages from Kent's journal. This is number 272 of 1550 copies signed by Kent and is additionally inscribed and signed by his wife Sally to Kent's daughter by his first marriage, Barbara, and her husband Alan (Carter), the founding director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. 8vo, silver-lettered blue cloth; slipcase. Los Angeles, 1970.