Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) was a painter, graphic artist, and writer. He developed a signature style of sculptural characterizations and traveled widely, illustrating his accounts of trips to Greenland, Alaska, and the Strait of Magellan. Politically active throughout his life, he received the Lenin Peace Prize , the Soviet-bloc counterpart to the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1967. Kent attended the Columbia University School of Architecture. While there, he enrolled in night and summer classes at several art schools, studying with distinguished artists such as William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, Kenneth Hayes Miller, and Abbott Handerson Thayer. Kent worked as an architect for a little over a decade, then moved to Maine and supported himself as a manual laborer while painting.
His paintings, etchings, and woodcuts reflected an adventurous spirit that led him to distant territories and to a sympathy for working people everywhere. Kent was eventually branded a Communist during the 1950s “Red scare,” and yet, the art world continued to embrace Kent and his work. Major museums collected his paintings and his prints were reproduced widely during his lifetime.