Rockwell Kent's Illustrations for Moby Dick - Lecture by Elizabeth Spear, Colby College Museum of Art

September 05, 2012
Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.
Farnsworth Auditorium
In honor of the exhibition Jamie Wyeth, Rockwell Kent, and Monhegan on view in the Wyeth Center, May 12 to January 6, scholar Elizabeth Spear will discuss Rockwell Kent's illustrations for Moby Dick and his work on Monhegan Island. Kent was generally considered the most important American book illustrator of the 1920s and 30s, gracing such works as Candide, Moby Dick, and The Canterbury Tales.
In1926, Kent was approached by publisher R. R. Donnelley to produce an illustrated edition of Richard Henry Dana, Jr.'s Two Years Before the Mast, Kent suggested Moby Dick instead. Published in 1930 by the Lakeside Press of Chicago, the three-volume limited edition filled with Kent's haunting black-and-white pen/brush and ink drawings sold out immediately; Random House produced a trade edition which was also immensely popular. A previously obscure book, Moby Dick had been rediscovered by critics in the early 1920s. The success of the Rockwell Kent illustrated edition was a factor in its becoming recognized as the classic it is today.
Elizabeth Spear is currently the Anne Lunder Leland Fellow in Curatorial Practice at the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine. Prior to coming to Colby, Elizabeth worked as a research assistant at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. Elizabeth received her Master’s degree in Art History from the University of California, Riverside, where she wrote her thesis on the 1991 exhibition The West as America. Originally from the Kansas City, Missouri, Elizabeth enjoys bringing a “Western” perspective to the appreciation of American art in Maine.
Seating: limited to 60 people
Cost: $5 members, $8 nonmembers

Rockwell Kent, Moby Dick Rises

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