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University of Texas at Austin

Eric Kennington:

An Inventory of His Art Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Kennington, Eric, 1888-1960
Title: Eric Kennington Art Collection
Dates: 1926-1935
Extent: 47 items
Abstract: The Eric Kennington Art Collection consists of forty-five drawings and prints completed for T. E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and two bronze portrait sculptures of Lawrence.
Call Number: Art Collection AR-00142
Language: English
Access: Open for research. Please note that a minimum of 24 hours notice is required to pull art materials to the Ransom Center's Reading and Viewing Room. Some materials may be restricted from viewing. To make an appointment or to reserve art materials, please contact the Center's staff at Researchers must create an online Research Account and agree to the Materials Use Policy before using archival materials.

Administrative Information

Acquisition: Gift (G2767) and purchases (R900), 1962-1966
Processed by: Lauren Algee, 2010, and Jill Morena, 2017

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

Biographical Sketch

Eric Henri Kennington was an English painter and sculptor born in London on March 12, 1888. Following his training at Lambeth School of Art (1905–1907), he gained success with the Costermongers, a painting noted for its frank depiction of London street life. A year of service in the army directly informed his Kensingtons at Laventie, a chilling document of endurance and sacrifice praised for its unusual oil-on-glass technique. Throughout his employment as an Official War Artist in 1917–1918 and 1940–1942, Kennington produced a large number of idealized pastel portraits of ordinary serviceman.
Kennington is perhaps best known for his lively illustrations for T. E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1926). The two men were close friends and Kennington produced two busts of Lawrence. One, in bronze, is in the Tate Gallery in London, and the other is in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral. He also designed an effigy of Lawrence, held in St Martin's Church in Wareham, Dorset.
In the 1920s, Kennington's sculpture began to assume considerable importance. His war memorials to the 24th Division in Battersea Park, London (1924), and the Allied Forces in Soissons, France (1928), established his position as a direct carver working on a monumental scale. For the remainder of his career, however, he worked in isolation, producing reliefs for schools, colleges, and churches.
Eric Kennington died April 14, 1960 after a long illness. He was seventy-two.


"Kennington, Eric Henri (1888-1960) Artist." Your Archives, revision as of 11 December 2009.,_Eric_Henri_(1888-1960)_Artist&oldid=224677 (accessed 4 May 2010).
Thompson, Mark. "Kennington, Eric (Henri)." Grove Art Online, (accessed 27 April, 2010).

Scope and Contents

The Eric Kennington Art Collection consists of forty-five drawings and prints completed for T. E. Lawrence's 1926 edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and two bronze portrait sculptures of Lawrence. Five prints are illustrations by other artists, including J. C. Clark and William Roberts. A copy of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom edition is available in the Ransom Center Library (call number D 568.4 L4 1926).

Related Material

Related holdings in the Ransom Center's Art Collection include two 1918 portraits of Kennington by William Rothenstein in conté crayon in the William Rothenstein Art Collection (accession numbers 65.282.1 and 65.282.2). Other artworks related to Seven Pillars of Wisdom are present in the T.E. Lawrence Art Collection (AR 00152).

Index Terms

Index Terms

People Kennington, Eric, 1888-1960. Lawrence, T. E. (Thomas Edward), 1888-1935.
Subjects Literature in art.
Document Types Drawings. Lithographs. Proofs.

Item List