A painter and musician, Dorothy Kent, the sister of artist Rockwell
Kent, was an
early female visitor to the American West and by 1930 was living in New
Mexico, likely at Chamita. She later settled in Alcalde.
Her parents were Rockwell and Sara Ann Holgate Banker Kent, and the
family had another son, named Douglas, and lived in Tarrytown, New York.
Kent left Tarrytown, and was in the Southwest as early as 1916 when she traveled
with Carol Stanley (future owner of Ghost Ranch) into the Four Corners area on a trip sponsored by
the Rocky Mountain Camp Company of Santa Fe. The trip, which
began in September, took three weeks by horseback and "wove across
northwestern New Mexico and into the Navajo country of the Colorado
Plateau." (Kempes, 25).
This exploratory expedition attracted much attention because it was the
first attempt by Caucasian explorers to travel by horseback in the
Indian country of the Colorado plateau and across northern New
Mexico. The group traveled straight west on the 36th parallel
from Espinosa to the Canon del Muerto in Arizona, north to Farmington,
New Mexico, east to Taos, and back to Santa Fe. Much of the trail
was horrendously difficult, and Dorothy Kent insisted on taking her
violin. At the Rainbow Bridge campsite in Arizona, "she serenaded
her dusty, sunburned, chap-, hat-and boot-bedecked audience with a
concert---surely a first in the history of classical music, and in the
story of this legendary monument." (Kempes, 27)
In the East, Dorothy Kent was a member of the New York Society of Women
Artists. A description of her
painting when it was on exhibition at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts
was "strong, forcible and vibrant". (Dawdy, 245).
Lesley Poling-Kempes, Ghost Ranch
Doris Dawdy, Artists of the American West, Volume III, p. 245
Ferris, Scott, "The Artistic Heritage of Rockwell Kent", American Art Review 10/2002