Corita Kent
Orders and Counter-culture

Investigation by

Corita Kent (née Frances Elizabeth Kent) was a key figure on the American scene in the 1960s and 70s. Starting in 1952, she was a prolific producer of screen prints—a medium she brought to the mainstream—that reflected issues deeply entrenched in her practice, tied to the social and political movements of those two decades. Her commitment to that era’s great ideological struggles—she fought passionately to defend civil rights for women and minorities—goes hand in hand with her humanist perspective and her decision in 1936, at just barely 18 years old, to join the religious order of the Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary. An anti-conformist, progressive and Catholic activist much like Dorothy Day, she was a close friend of the priest and pacifist Dan Berrigan until the very end of her life. Up until 1968, the year when she left the Church, she sought to combine her religious dedication with her artistic production and mission as an educator. From 1941 onward, she developed innovative methods for teaching art, most notably by inviting important figures from architecture, design or music to her classes, including some iconic names such as John Cage, Richard Buckminster Fuller or Charles Eames.