Description

    ROCKWELL KENT (American, 1882-1971)
    Untitled ("Asgaard," the farm of Sally and Rockwell Kent), circa 1960-65
    Oil on canvasboard
    14-7/8 x 18 inches (37.8 x 45.7 cm)
    Signed and inscribed lower right: To my friends Vera and Yakov Tolchan / Rockwell Kent
    Inscribed verso: "Asgaard", the farm of Sally and Rockwell Kent / Au Sable Forks, New York, / USA

    PROVENANCE:
    The artist;
    Vera and Yakov Tolchan, Moscow, Russia, gift from the above;
    By descent;
    Private collection, Vilnius, Lithuania, gift from the above;
    By descent to the present owner.

    EXHIBITED:
    Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia, "Rockwell Kent, 1882-1971," 1983, (exhibited as "The Farm on Which I Live" -- "This Is My Own (Asgaard Farm)") -- direct translation from the Russian.

    LITERATURE:
    S. Ferris and E. Pearce, Rockwell Kent's Forgotten Landscapes, Camden, Maine, 1998, pp. 75 and 90;
    S. Ferris and C. Welsh, The View from Asgaard: Rockwell Kent's Adirondack Legacy, Blue Mountain Lake, New York, 1999, p. 52 (described as "The Farm on Which I Live").

    The art historian Richard V. West notes: "Between 1958 and 1967, [Rockwell] Kent made three trips to the Soviet Union. The first trip was at the invitation of the Soviet government to enable the artist to view the major retrospective of his works that had opened at the Pushkin State Museum of the Fine Arts in Moscow in late 1957 to honor Kent's seventy-fifth birthday. Kent had been unable to attend the opening of the exhibition, but it had been captured on film by the admired Soviet cinematographer Yakov Moiseyevich Tolchan (1901-1993). It is highly likely that Kent made the acquaintance of Tolchan and his wife Vera during his visit to Moscow at that time, and subsequently sent this painting around 1960 as a token of his gratitude and friendship. Tolchan and Kent continued a friendly correspondence during the 1960s (Tolchan had excellent command of English) and Kent apparently met with Tolchan during his subsequent trips to the Soviet Union. As Scott Ferris has noted in his study Rockwell Kent's Forgotten Landscapes, this painting was included in a 1983 exhibition at the Pushkin with the provisional title The Farm On Which I Live.

    "This painting is a view of the dairy barns and complex at Asgaard, Kent's home in the Adirondacks where he operated a dairy farm for a number of years. Kent loved the Adirondack area, and most of the paintings he completed in the last three decades of his career featured the views in and around his farm and surrounding countryside" (R. West in a letter to Mary Adair Dockery, March 5, 2015).

    In The View from Asgaard: Rockwell Kent's Adirondack Legacy, the art historian Scott R. Ferris describes the thriving environment of Asgaard: "In September 1927, Rockwell and Frances Kent bought an abandoned 257-acre farm near Au Sable Forks in the Adirondacks. . . . Together they built a home and renovated the farm and its buildings which he named 'Asgaard,' Norse for 'farm of the gods.' The house and studio, designed in every detail by Kent, remained his home and base of operations for the rest of his life. Life was busy along the east branch of the Ausable River. Kent orchestrated an elaborate social life with frequent house parties; operated a farm and a dairy business; participated in local and national politics; traveled to wild and lonely places for the adventure and his art; and produced an enormous output of paintings, prints, advertising art, commissions, as well as writing and editorial work" (S. Ferris and C. Welsh, The View from Asgaard: Rockwell Kent's Adirondack Legacy, Blue Mountain Lake, New York, 1999, p. 11).

    This painting is included in the catalogue of the artist's work being compiled by Scott R. Ferris. It is also included in the catalogue of the artist's work being compiled by Richard V. West.




    Condition Report*:

    There appears to be minor frame wear in corners and along lower extreme edge; under UV exam, there appears to be inpainting in the blue pigment in lower left snowbank and reinforcement in the shadows in the pathway; a .5 inch horizontal line of inpainting in the trees at the upper right corner and at center right edge; however, a streaky, discolored varnish layer makes the painting difficult to read. Framed Dimensions 16.25 X 19.5 Inches

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2015
    2nd Saturday
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