Monday, July 24, 2017

Rockwell Kent illustrates Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself"

Rockwell Kent (1882-1971), hardly needs an introduction from me, as Wikipedia has it he was an "American painter, printmaker, illustrator, writer, sailor and adventurer", which seems appropriate for someone whose best known work is he illustrations for Moby Dick. Perhaps it was some of those vast, placid, ocean skies and seascapes that informed the expansive use of white space and stillness in his illustration work. Heritage Press produced an edition of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass illustrated by Kent and he peppered a huge book with what must be well over a hundred crisp black and white illustrations. The ones I have scanned here all come from his decoration around the long poem "Song of Myself".

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