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Norman Kent Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: JOD
Date: Nov 1992

Biographical History

Artist and art educator Norman Kent (1903-1972) graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1925. He began his career as a Buffalo-based illustrator before teaching at Hobart and William Smith colleges in Geneva. He later served as the editor of American Artist magazine for more than 25 years. Kent was best known for his woodcuts and watercolor landscapes. [From]

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Spanning 1920 to 1971, the Norman Kent Papers comprise a Correspondence-subject file, Artwork, Writings, and Memorabilia of the American wood-engraver, illustrator, printmaker, and watercolorist (1903-1972). The collection reflects Kent's personal and professional life as an educator, working artist, author, and editor of American Artist.

Arranged alphabetically, the Correspondence-subject file (Boxes 1-24) constitutes the largest portion of the collection, and contains biographical material, family correspondence, and personal and professional correspondence and related material, much of the latter in connection with American Artist. Throughout his career Norman Kent corresponded with artists (John Taylor Arms, Ralph Avery, Isabel Bishop, Charles E. Burchfield, John DePol, James D. Havens, Roy M. Mason, Coulton Waugh, Edward Winter, Andrew Wyeth); libraries and art collections (Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Archives of American Art, Library of Congress, Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, Old Town Galleries, Rochester Memorial Art Gallery); educational institutions (Art Students League of New York, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Pratt Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Syracuse University); art organizations (American Institute of Graphic Arts, American Watercolor Society, Prairie Print Makers, Print Club of Rochester); and the editorial staff of American Artist (Arthur Guptill, Janice Lovoos, Henry Pitz, Ernest W. Watson, Frederic Whitaker). The correspondence also records the frequent confusion by others of Norman Kent with artists Rockwell Kent and Norman Rockwell, an example of which may be seen in the A. N. Marquis Company's erratum sheet issued for the 1968 edition of Who's Who in America (Box 14).

Artwork (Box 25) contains inventories and lists of Kent's work, 16 of his drawings and prints, and six examples of the work of unidentified artists. The inventories and lists pertain to works that Kent loaned for exhibition, those consigned for sale at a commercial gallery, and collections in which he is represented.

Writings (Box 25) features drafts and published essays as well as book review manuscripts. Most of the writings appeared in American Artist or other periodicals, and exhibition catalogs. Also included in this section are a journal which Kent kept on a 1963 trip to Scandinavia and an undated notebook with drafts of miscellaneous writings.

Memorabilia (Boxes 25-28) includes calendars, financial material, photographs, and printed material. Diary and appointment calendars (1920-1970) document, with only a few short gaps, Kent's student days through his first year of retirement. Financial material (1926-1970) records Kent's art sales, personal finances, and royalty statements. Printed material consists of clippings about Kent or those which were of interest to him. Also included are exhibition announcements and catalogs of Kent's one-man and group shows as well as those of other artists.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953.
Avery, Ralph.
Bishop, Isabel, 1902-1988.
Burchfield, Charles, 1893-1967.
DePol, John, 1913-2004.
Guptill, Arthur Leighton, 1891-1956.
Havens, James Dexter, 1900-1960.
Kent, Norman, 1903-1972.
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971.
Lovoos, Janice.
Mason, Roy M., 1886-1972.
Pitz, Henry C. (Henry Clarence), 1895-1976.
Rockwell, Norman, 1894-1978.
Watson, Ernest William, 1884-1969.
Waugh, Coulton, 1896-1973.
Whitaker, Frederic.
Winter, Edward.
Wyeth, Andrew, 1917-2009.

Corporate Bodies

Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
American Institute of Graphic Arts.
American Watercolor Society.
Archives of American Art.
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)
Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Library of Congress.
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)
Old Town Galleries.
Prairie Print Makers.
Pratt Institute.
Print Club of Rochester.
Rochester Institute of Technology.
Syracuse University.
University of Rochester. -- Memorial Art Gallery.

Associated Titles

American artist.


Art -- Societies, etc.
Art publishing -- United States.
Art, American -- 20th century.
Artists -- United States.
Block printing -- United States -- 20th century.
Graphic arts -- United States.
Illustrators -- United States.
Painting, American -- 20th century.
Periodical editors -- United States.
Printmakers, United States.
Sculpture, American -- 20th century.
Watercolor painting, American -- 20th century.
Watercolorists -- United States.
Wood-engraving -- United States -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms

Account books.
Calendars (documents)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Drafts (documents)
Drawings (visual works)
Exhibition catalogs.
Manuscripts for publication.
Minutes (administrative records)
Reviews (documents)
Woodcuts (prints)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Norman Kent Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Norman Kent, 1965-1975.

Table of Contents

Correspondence-subject file