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Kent working in his studio, c.1930s
Kent working in his studio, c.1930s

    For an artist, Kent’s expenses were often considerable. For many years he was the sole source of support for Kathleen and their five children, as well as for his second wife, Frances and her son, Dickie. The cost of maintaining Asgaard was always an ongoing drain on his resources.

    Commercial work often kept Kent solvent. Most jobs were a financial boon, but an artistic bane:

“I support myself by turning my hand to the production of almost every lowdown job that commerce, the great prostituting patron of the arts, demands. How I hate all that.”


    On occasion, fine art did combine with commerce. In 1927–28 Kent completed three canvases for Steinway and Sons, inspired by music of the masters, including Rachmaninoff’s “Russian Mass.”

    One of Kent’s last lucrative commercial clients was General Electric. His painting of a solitary farmhouse on a winter’s night was reproduced in GE’s 1946 calendar and proved so popular that he was asked to provide another for the following year.

    In January of 1946, workers at GE’s plant in Schenectady, New York, went on strike. They invited Kent to join their picket line. Well aware that his appearance on the line could cost him his commission, Kent braved bitter cold and supported the strikers. GE officials looking on were not amused and tried to cancel his contract. Kent threatened a lawsuit and GE accepted his painting of a Christmas celebration on a village green.

    Thinking that the “picket” fence that enclosed the common was suggestive, GE executives asked Kent to remove it. Kent stood firmly on artistic grounds and the “picket” fence stayed.
Kent on picket line, Schenectady, New York, 1946
Kent on picket line, Schenectady, New York, 1946
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Thumbnail ImageGreeting Card: Happy New Year 1922, 1922
linecut on paper
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.174.11]
Thumbnail ImageRolls-Royce Ad: Two Ladies, 1926
commercial print
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.167.2]
Thumbnail ImageRolls-Royce Ad: Road Scene, 1926
commercial print
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.167.3]
Thumbnail ImageGreeting Card: Weyhe 1926, 1926
wood engraving
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.174.18]
Thumbnail ImageGreeting Card: Christmas Greetings and Every Good Wish for the New Year 1926, 1926
linecut on paper
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.174.10]
Thumbnail ImageMarcus & Company Jewlers: That Captivating Circlet, 1928
commercial print
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.162]
Thumbnail ImageThe Commmerial Bank and National Trust Company of New York Ad: Constant Vigilance, 1928
commercial print
Estate of Sally Kent Gordon
[P52000.168.1]
Thumbnail ImageSteinway Ad: Russian Mass, 1928
commercial print
Estate of Sally Kent Gordon
[P52000.170]
Thumbnail ImageScribners Cover: February 1929, 1929
ink on paper
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.15.12]
Thumbnail ImageChicago Tribune Ad: Two Men Cutting Trees, c.1930
ink on board
Museum Purchase, Sally Kent Gorton Endowment
[P42005.5.1]
Thumbnail ImageScribner's Cover: North Wind, c.1930
ink on paper
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.15.13]
Thumbnail ImageFortune Magazine: Cover (unpublished), c.1930
watercolor on board
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.24]
Thumbnail ImageFilm Poster: Nana, 1931
linecut on paper
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.171]
Thumbnail ImageChase Brass & Copper Company: Wine Cooler, c.1935
copper
Museum Purchase, Sally Kent Gorton Endowment
[P112007.1]
Thumbnail ImageChase Brass & Copper Company: Cigarette Box, c.1935
copper
Museum Purchase, Sally Kent Gorton Endowment
[P122007.2]
Thumbnail ImageOn Earth Peace Good Will Toward Men, 1935
linecut on paper
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.107]
Thumbnail ImageVermont Symphony: Angel Playing Violin, c.1937
ink on paper mounted on board
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.74]
Thumbnail ImageMoby Dick Dinnerware: Chop Plate, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.46]
Thumbnail ImageMoby Dick Dinnerware: Coffee Pot, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.85b]
Thumbnail ImageMoby Dick Dinnerware: Teapot, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.83]
Thumbnail ImageMoby Dick Dinnerware: Charger, c.1940
earthenware
Museum Purchase, Sally Kent Gorton Endowment
[P102005.14.1]
Thumbnail ImageTextile Design: Moby Dick Scarf, c.1940's
mixed media
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.121]
Thumbnail ImageOur America Dinnerware: Jam Jar, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.44]
Thumbnail ImageOur America Dinnerware: Plate, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.11]
Thumbnail ImageOur America Dinnerware: Plate, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.3]
Thumbnail ImageOur America Dinnerware: Dish, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.2]
Thumbnail ImageOur America Dinnerware: Maquette, 1939
pen and ink
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1997.3.35]
Thumbnail ImageOur America Dinnerware: Chowder Bowl, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.16]
Thumbnail ImageOur America Dinnerware: Plate, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.8]
Thumbnail ImageOur American Dinnerware: Charger, c.1940
earthenware
Museum Purchase, Sally Kent Gorton Endowment
[P102005.13.1]
Thumbnail ImageSalamina Dinnerware: Chop Plate, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.88]
Thumbnail ImageSalamina Dinnerware: Plate, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.90]
Thumbnail ImageSalamina Dinnerware: Chowder Bowl, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.112]
Thumbnail ImageSalamina Dinnerware: Dish, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.111]
Thumbnail ImageSalamina Dinnerware: Small Teapot, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.126]
Thumbnail ImageSalamina Dinnerware: Butterdish, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.124a]
Thumbnail ImageSalamina Dinnerware: Large Creamer, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.123]
Thumbnail ImageSalamina Dinnerware: Creamer, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.122]
Thumbnail ImageSalamina Dinnerware: Jam Jar, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.119]
Thumbnail ImageSalamina Dinnerware: Coffee Cup, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.116]
Thumbnail ImageSalamina Dinnerware: Large Coffee Pot, 1939
earthenware
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1980.6.129]
Thumbnail ImageSalamina Dinnerware: Platter, 1939
earthenware
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.200.1.1]
Thumbnail ImageFlatware Design: Spoon, c.1940
pencil and watercolor on paper
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[X1997.3.36]
Thumbnail ImageBroach Designs, c.1940
mixed media
Gift of Sally Kent Gorton
[P92008.3]
Thumbnail ImagePon Ad:Dam, 1941
commercial print
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.161.2]
Thumbnail ImageBenton & Bowels Bituminous Coal: To Make Dream Houses Come True, 1945
oil on canvas board
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.36.23]
Thumbnail ImageBenton & Bowels Bituminous Coal: Power for the Wheels of Progress, 1945
oil on board
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.36.8]
Thumbnail ImageGeneral Electric: Calendar Study III, 1946
oil on canvas board
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.64.3]
Thumbnail ImageSharp & Dohme Vitamins: Ad, c.1942
lithograph, color
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.189]
Thumbnail ImageRecord Jacket: Carmina Burana, 1950's
mixed media
Sally Kent Gordon Estate
[P52000.135.2]
Thumbnail ImageRapid Blueprint Co. Christmas Card, c.1950
linecut on paper
Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton
[P52000.174.4]
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