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.