Killer Whales in Resurrection Bay, Alaska
c.1935-1962 and 1965
Oil on canvas
27 1/2 x 42 in. (69.9 x 106.7 cm)
Alaska Memory: Killer Whales in Resurrection Bay
Inscribed lower right:
Rockwell Kent/To Paul and Dorothy Schumm
Gift to Paul and Dorothy Schumm (1965)
Mrs. Dorothy Schumm Dayton
Plattsburgh State Art Museum, State University of New York-Plattsburgh
Alternate titles – “Killer Whales in Resurrection Bay, Alaska,” is the title that Kent gave to the painting in an April 30, 1965 letter to the Schumms. “Alaska Memory: Killer Whales in Resurrection Bay,” is the title that Kent wrote on a March 1962 35mm slide of the painting. The inscription to the Schumms was not on the painting at the time Kent made the slide.
Figures and a boat, positioned along the beach in the original composition (visible now as pentimenti; see supporting illustration), were painted over, possibly in 1962, when Kent photographed the painting, on his easel, in his studio. The inscription to the Schumms would have been added in 1965, when Kent transferred the painting to the Schumms.
It was common practice by Kent, when he was traveling abroad, to roll-up a canvas (a painting) to ship to his home studio. Once back at his studio he unrolled the painting and adhered it to a board. A close examination of the verso of this painting shows no residue from an adhesive.
This painting bears a striking resemblance to “Resurrection Bay, Alaska” (AK1-30), in the collection of the Anchorage Museum. Another similar work is Alaska Impression AK2-32.