a perfect stylization

Jesse Marinoff Reyes (Jesse Marinoff Reyes Design, Maplewood, N.J.)

… Rockwell Kent (1882-1971)!

Several years ago I bought an inscribed copy of Rockwell Kent’s first big-time monograph, Rockwellkentiana: Few Words and Many Pictures by Rockwell Kent and Carl Zigrosser (Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1933). This bit of ephemera was tucked into the pages by a previous owner (maybe even the person Kent had inscribed the copy to). I love finding things tucked into old books—it gives one a sense of the object’s existence—especially if it’s germane to the book’s topic, like tipped-in articles about the subject. This is the cover-half of a clipped Christmas card that has the legend (printed in small type on the inside) “Painted for Esquire and its Subscribers by Rockwell Kent.” Beautifully lithographed, the colors are intensely rich. Kind of an added bonus on top of an already exquisite volume. Just wish the person hadn’t felt compelled to trim it off as it deepens the mystery of who had done it, and perhaps fleshing out the exclusivity of a customized xmas card done for Esquire “and its subscribers.”

Jesse Marinoff Reyes Design

That being said, the image is classic Kent, streamlined and sculptural—and a very perfectly stylized bit of decorative design.

Ephemera (Christmas card)
Illustration: Rockwell Kent, ca. 1938 (artwork with printed signature and date at lower right)

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