Camden, Maine: Down East Books, 1998. Kent, Rockwell; Muniak, Susan (Photography). 1st Edition. Hardcover. Octavo size, 96 pp., inscribed by Scott Ferris and Ellen Pearce. Near Fine / Near Fine. Item #SB1401
Inscribed by co-author and Kent specialist Scott R. Ferris to Riette Kahn, who with her husband, Albert, is mentioned on page 86 of the book as owners of "From Palmer Hill" and friends of Rockwell Kent; included is a TLS by Scott R. Ferris presenting the book to Riette Kahn. Also signed by co-author Ellen Pearce (Rockwell Kent's granddaughter).
Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) was an American painter and illustrator who bridged the artistic gap between Victorian and Modern art; highly regarded, he is perhaps best known today for his illustrations, particularly in books such as "Moby Dick" and "Beowulf". He developed sympathy with the social and economic welfare of the working man and became increasingly supportive of Soviet-American friendship, thus becoming a target of Joe McCarthy and even having a travel ban placed upon him. The experience left him disillusioned and feeling cast off by Americans, resulting in him leaving the large amount of his work to the Soviet peoples. He subsequently became an honorary member of the Soviet Academy of Fine Arts and was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1967 (info from Wikipedia).
A collection of paintings given by Rockwell Kent to the people of the U.S.S.R. "In a dramatic gesture that defied the virulently anti-communist environment of McCarthy-era America, Rockwell Kent gave 86 of this paintings and hundreds of his prints, drawings, books, and manuscripts to the people of the Soviet Union. That collection, unseen by Western eyes for nearly forty years, is gathered for the first time in this volume." (n.b., from the book dust jacket flap).
___DESCRIPTION: Light yellow cloth boards with mauve lettering on the spine, yellow endpapers, inscription by Scott R. Ferris on the half-title page "For Riette / With fond memories of Kent's not so forgotten / Landscapes, the Adirondacks, / SRF", Scott Ferris also signed the half-title page along with Ellen Pearce, black and white frontispiece being detail of "The Artist in Greenland", contents include texts by the authors, approx. 49 pages of color reproductions of the paintings, another approx. 8 pages with 4 black and white reproductions each, and an Index at the end, pagination: (1-3), 4-96, oblong quarto. Full-color on black pictorial dust jacket ("Calm and Free, Maine Coast", 1909), price of $30.00 on flap, summary of book on both flaps, short bios of both authors on rear flap, quote by Edward Hoagland about Rockwell Kent on rear panel. Included is a brochure from the Plattsburgh State Art Museum, State University, NY titled "Generations", a one-page Addendum dated 22 January, 2002 by Scott R. Ferris, and the aforementioned TLS by Scott R. Ferris to Riette Kahn dated 10 September, 2002, with Scott R. Ferris' business card.
___CONDITION: Overall the book is near fine with a strong, square text block, solid hinges, straight corners with no rubbing, the interior is clean and bright, and it is free of prior owner markings other than the inscription referred to above; there is a small bump to the top of both boards and a bit on the top of the text block (as though another book fell onto it at some point) and some light soiling to the yellow cloth boards, a hint of foxing starting on the endpapers. The unclipped dust jacket with the original $30.00 price is near fine with some minor overall edgewear and a hint of sunning to the spine.
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