He did extensive research in New Bedford and spent time on a whaling ship, like Melville before he jumped into the work.
"Published in 1930 by the Lakeside Press of Chicago, the three-volume limited edition [of Moby Dick] filled with Kent's haunting black-and-white pen/brush and ink drawings sold out immediately; Random House produced a trade edition which was also immensely popular. A previously obscure book, Moby Dick had been rediscovered by critics in the early 1920s. The success of the Rockwell Kent illustrated edition was a factor in its becoming recognized as the classic it is today."
The illustrations are quite dense and must be viewed several times to take in all the information. Understand the pictures through the opposition of black and white. Movement and texture add meaning. Kent has familiarity with the whale museum and going on a whaling ship.
Contrast Kent's illustrations with those of George Klauba we'll see tomorrow at the Ann Nathan Gallery.
painting of Queequeg:
Notice the contrast of styles from 1930 to the 21st Century. We are very excited to meet and speak with the artist George Klauba.