THE RARE BOOK AND
MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Treasures


112 Rockwell Kent 1882-1971
Drawings for Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass
Pen and ink, various sizes (6 x 4.25 inches to 11 x 7.5 inches), signed, ca. 1936
During the 1930s Rockwell Kent, the popular American painter and illustrator, produced some of his finest work as a book illustrator in editions of Whitman, Melville, Shakespeare and Chaucer. The drawings for Whitman, in particular, express with both strength and delicacy Kent's sympathy for the poet's celebration of America. Comprising vignettes, decorations and full-page illustrations, the original 127 pen-and-ink drawings are all signed by Kent and contain his hand-written instructions to the printer. When photographically reproduced in the 1936 edition of Leaves of Grass, published by the Heritage Press in New York and the Nonesuch Press in London, the drawings were considerably reduced in size; consequently, the originals are far more emphatic in statement and impressive in impact.
Gift of the Friends of the Libraries

Collections and Treasures