Museum Tour II - Rockwell Kent "Our America"

One of the rarest collections featured in the Replacements, Ltd. museum is this dinnerware set designed by the famous American artist, Rockwell Kent. The pattern is simply titled, “Our America” and features more than 30 illustrations of America’s most unique icons. The image below shows a charger that illustrates an American farm. The bowl shows an image of Chicago while the dinner plate has an image of New York.

Rockwell Kent is one of America’s most celebrated artists. Kent was born in 1882 in the small town of Tarrytown Heights, NY. He began his artistic career at the Horace Mann School of Art in New York City. Subsequently, he studied architecture at Columbia University. Upon graduation, Kent began traveling. He was as much the adventurer as he was an artist. Many of his lithographs, paintings, wood carvings, and drawings are inspired by nature. After establishing himself as an artist, Kent became a lecturer and writer. His best selling book, A Journal of Quiet Adventure in Alaska, was published in 1920.

Kent was hired by Vernon Kilns of Vernon, California, in the late 1930’s. The company’s owner, Faye Bennison, hired Kent to design several patterns, which she requested to be of “museum quality.” Kent designed several patterns for Vernon Kilns, including, “Our America,” “Moby Dick,” and the “Salamina” pattern. Kent continued designing china for the Vernon Kilns throughout the next decade. During the 1950’s, Kent became a controversial figure because he was suspected of being a Communist by Senator McCarthy. Following a failed indictment, Kent continued traveling, writing, painting, and lecturing. A resurgence of interest in Kent’s art occurred after he died in 1971. Vernon Kilns later became part of the Metlox China Company. If you are interested in seeing more of Metlox or Vernon’s patterns, then click here.

Rockwell Kent "Our America" Vernon Ware