About the authors of this Annotated Checklist.
Scott R. Ferris
Scott R. Ferris was first exposed to the life and artwork of Rockwell Kent when he was a student at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh (1978). At the time, the college had recently received an important collection of the artist’s oeuvre, to which Ferris was assigned the task of cataloguing and labeling the works. As a result of his accomplishments at Plattsburgh State Ferris was asked by Kent s widow, Sally Kent Gorton, to work for her, at the estate, as director of The Rockwell Kent Legacies (1980-1982).
Among the many duties that Ferris performed for the Legacies, he worked with Fridolf Johnson and the editors at Alfred A. Knopf in researching and editing what was to become the book, Rockwell Kent: An Anthology of His Work; he was the liaison with the estate s New York City gallery representative, Hammer Galleries, and was responsible for changing gallery representation from Hammer to Kennedy Galleries; he licensed the estate owned copyright and reproduction rights; and he developed object files for Kent’s paintings, and labeled innumerable sketches and drawings in the collection, most of which are now part of the collections at Plattsburgh State and the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution.
In the years since his tenure at The Rockwell Kent Legacies, Ferris has authored essays for the books Rockwell Kent’s Forgotten Landscapes and The View from Asgaard: Rockwell Kent’s Adirondack Legacy, and the foreword, “In the Presence of Light,” for the Wesleyan University Press edition of Kent’s 1935 tome, Salamina. He has also written articles for Smithsonian magazine, American Art Review, Fine Art Connoisseur, et al., as well as, independent reviews. Ferris has lectured on Kent at the Library of Congress, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Adirondack Museum, New York University, Baruch College, Terra Museum of Art, and Portland Museum of Art, among others; and he has been interviewed for Public Radio and Television programs, as well as CBS Sunday Morning. He most recently November, 2018 spoke at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center on Rockwell Kent s Alaska artwork.
Ferris has served as curator or consultant for numerous exhibitions about or including Rockwell Kent. And, he has served as a consultant for innumerable literary and biographical projects including the book, Maine in America: American Art at The Farnsworth Art Museum, and the film, Rockwell Kent: A Documentary by Frederick Lewis. His ongoing work focuses on a checklist of Kent’s paintings (with Richard V. West) and the artist’s greater oeuvre. And he continues to provide research services and literary contributions for art galleries, auction houses, museums and private collectors, as well as for academicians, and his personal website scottrferris.com. (In a related project, Ferris was editor of CRSA Forum: The Journal of the Catalogue Raisonné Scholars Association from issue No. 9, Summer 2002 through No. 19, Winter 2006: catalogueraisonne.org).
Richard V. West
Richard V. West is currently Director Emeritus of the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington. After completion of graduate work in art history at the University of California, Berkeley, West was awarded a Ford Foundation fellowship at the Cleveland Art Museum in Ohio and subsequently at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. Shortly after being appointed Director and Curator of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art (Brunswick, Maine) in 1967, West befriended the artist Rockwell Kent, which led to the organization of the last major exhibition in that artist’s lifetime, Rockwell Kent: The Early Years. The occasionally dramatic events surrounding that exhibition were described in “Recalling Rockwell,” which appeared in the 2005 exhibition catalogue, Rockwell Kent: The Mythic and the Modern, organized by the Portland (Maine) Museum of Art.
In 1977, West published an article, “Rockwell Kent Reconsidered,” in the American Art Review, which contributed to a new appreciation of an artist whose career had been obscured by the political and artistic events of the mid-twentieth century. In 1985, West organized and curated a major Kent painting retrospective at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, “An Enkindled Eye:” The Paintings of Rockwell Kent. The exhibition toured nationally. The emergence of Kent as a painter early in the twentieth century and the political and domestic issues that faced Kent in post-war America are described in the essays “Before the Odyssey” and “After the Odyssey” in Distant Shores: The Odyssey of Rockwell Kent, organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in 2000.
West has made presentations at numerous symposia dedicated to Kent and his art over the years and is currently compiling an annotated checklist of Kent paintings, with Scott R. Ferris. In his role as curator and museum director, West has also been a staunch advocate of contemporary representational art: he is Trustee Emeritus of the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle and currently serves as a Founding Trustee of the Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds, Washington. He also serves as a Board member of the Philharmonia Northwest chamber orchestra; and Vice-President of the Thalia Music Library, a non-profit organization providing music to many community classical music groups.