Description: This letter from September 1968 is another from the years-long series of correspondence between Rockwell Kent and Leonard Halpin. Kent began this letter by lamenting that Halpin had been unable to travel back to the Adirondack North Country for some time. He then updated Halpin, his former landscaper, on the state of his yellow-woods (which he considers Halpin's 'children,' as he has "always thought of my own works as my children"), his lilacs, and his hay and corn harvests.
Kent and his wife had a "beautiful and unforgettable experience" travelling to Newfoundland in summer 1968, a trip arranged by the province's Premier, "in official atonement for the injustice done me more than fifty years ago by my expulsion as a 'German spy.'" He considered the trip an "antidote for the hideous political conventions" of that year, and compared the political situation to Sinclair Lewis's It Can't Happen Here, about the rise of a fascist dictatorship.
Kent then moved on to discussing the "so far peaceful occupation" of Czechoslovakia by the Soviets, and "the full realization of the seriousness of the counter-revolution that was in preparation" there during the Prague Spring. Kent then stated that "the spread and final world-wide establishment of socialism is the only guarantee" of the "defense of peace of earth." Kent closed with good wishes for his friend, and a wish for both a warm Indian Summer and a visit from Halpin.
Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) was a prolific American artist and author, as well as a socialist political activist. He is best known for his book illustrations, particularly for editions of Moby Dick and the works of Shakespeare, as well as his own memoirs, in addition to his painted landscapes of wild places such as Greenland, Tierra del Fuego, Alaska, Newfoundland, and Maine. He was very interested in politics and ran, unsuccessfully, for Congress in 1948. His socialist activism and connections to the Soviet Union affected his popularity as an artist and author and led to the revocation of his US passport (ultimately returned to him by the Supreme Court in 1958) and to his being awarded the USSR's Lenin Peace Prize in 1967.
Typed on two sheets of paper; the first is Kent's stationery, with the red Rockwell Kent/Ausable Forks image at the top center; the second is plain typing paper. Kent signed as simply "Rockwell" in blue ink, in his typical small, cramped hand, at the end of the letter. Both sheets of paper measure 11" x 8.5" Also accompanied by the 4" x 9" postally-used transmittal envelope with Kent designed poster stamp "Peace on Earth". Item #A00684
Condition: Fold lines, otherwise in very good condition. The envelope was very neatly opened at the flap; it is lightly soiled, but in quite good condition overall.