Museum Publication: Catalogue, 'Rockwell Kent's 'Egypt': Shadow & Light in Vermont'
Rockwell Kent's "Egypt": Shadow & Light in Vermont
Jamie Franklin, Jake Milgram Wien
"Nirvana", the evocatively titled painting by Rockwell Kent on the cover of this publication, signals entry into the world of ideas, Asian and Western, that suffuse the works Kent conceived in Vermont between 1919 and 1926.
This groundbreaking and richly illustrated exhibition catalogue, which includes vintage photographs of the artist, his studio, and family at their home in Vermont, includes essays by Jamie Franklin, curator of the Bennington Museum, and Jake Milgram Wien, independent curator and historian. Franklin's title essay discusses the artist's transition from life in Alaska to residency in Vermont, and his friendships with historian Dorothy Canfield Fisher, composer Carl Ruggles, and curator Carl Zigrosser.
Wien's essay provides a more rigorous art-historical framework for the Vermont paintings ("Mystery is Beauty: Rockwell Kent's Symbolist Theater"). Franklin provides insights into the mountainous topography of southern Vermont that inspired "The Trapper" and "Shadows of Evening" (both, Whitney Museum of American Art), "Puritan Church", and "Mt. Equinox, Winter" (Art Institute of Chicago).
An extensive annotated and illustrated checklist of works in the exhibition, which will remain the most comprehensive source of Kent's Vermont oeuvre for years to come, includes a reverse painting on glass, pen/brush and ink drawings, and paintings from private collections rarely seen.