The Snow Roller

Rockwell Kent, The Road Roller, 1909

Rockwell Kent, The Road Roller, 1909. Oil on canvas, 34 1/8 x 44 1/4 in. Acquired 1918. The Phillips Collection, Washington DC

Every time I come to work in the snow, I think of this painting. While living in Dublin, New Hampshire, a place far more acquainted with snow than DC, Rockwell Kent painted what he himself referred to as his “best known example of that winter’s work.” Moving powerfully down the driveway of the house he shared with his friend Gerald Thayer, the roller packed the snow on the roads to make way for horse-drawn sleighs. This is one of the few paintings Kent preceded with a preliminary sketch, housed in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Say It With Drawings

Photo: Jeremy Ney

Photo: Jeremy Ney

Museum Assistant Ianthe Gergel (known as “E”) has been creating an illustration for the Tryst CafĂ© staff every week during the van Gogh exhibition as a way of saying thanks for the free weekend coffee they’ve offered staff members dealing with the crowds of visitors. And the rest of us get the benefit of these charmers, taped to the cash register, every time we stop in the cafe for a treat.