6 Riverbank Lane, the Henry Rodman Kenyon house (1902)

6 Riverbank Lane Ipswich, the Kenyon house

6 Riverbank Lane Ipswich, the Henry Rodman Kenyon house

In 1884 Arthur Wesley Dow from Ipswich arrived at the Academie Julian in Paris for the first time and met Henry Rodman Kenyon. They became lifelong friends. In 1889 Kenyon and Dow returned to the United States, whereupon Dow introduced Kenyon to Ipswich. In the summer of 1899 Kenyon married the proficient pastel portraitist Caroline A. Savary and by 1901 Kenyon and his wife had settled at Ipswich in a home they called the Riverbank House. His small scenic paintings record the seasons in Ipswich and farther afield over a period of 40 years.

Kenyon was never ambitious, just “liked to paint,” and never received the fame and success of his friend Dow. In 1926 while visiting New Orleans, Kenyon died suddenly and his wife Caroline was left with hundreds of unsold paintings stored in their garage. She tried to promote his work with limited success. She sold the house in 1938 and died in 1943.

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Arthur Wesley Dow in his Studio at the top of Spring Street, with his friend Henry Rodman Kenyon on the right.

dow-kenyon-cyanotype

Cyanotype produced by Arthur Wesley Dow, sitting on the right with his friend Henry Rodman Kenyon.

TERRIBLE DISASTER

On November 19, 1887 Kenyon departed for America for America with his works in cabin class on the steamer W. A. Scholten, sailing from Rotterdam. That night, in a thick fog, the Scholten collided at sea with the steamer Rose Marie in the Straits of Dover. The ship sank, and Kenyon was rescued, but the paintings and sketches he had worked on for the previous 15 months sank in the English Channel. Kenyon’s resigned comment about this was that he’d had a “fine adventure″ which he couldn’t afford every year.

SS W. A. Scholten

SS W. A. Scholten

Daily Alta California, Volume 42, Number 13961, 21 November 1887

London, November 20th.— The Dutch steamer W. A. Scholten, Captain Taat, which left Rotterdam yesterday for New York, was sunk by a collision with the steamer Rosa Mary, of Hartlepool, at 11 o’clock last night, ten miles off Dover. The Schotlen carried a complement of 230 passengers and crew. The steamer Ebra, of Sunderland, rescued ninety of the crew and passengers and landed them at the Bailors’ home. One hundred and forty of the passengers are missing. Five passengers and a child of the party brought to Dover were found dead from exposure. The Rosa Mary is anchored off Ram6gan, with her bows stove in. The captain of the Rosa Mary denies the statement that his vessel was in collision with the Scholten. He avows the Rosa Mary was injured by a collision with another vessel, while lying at anchor. The captain of the Rosa Mary denies the statement that his vessel was in collision with the Scholten. He avows the Rosa Mary was injured by a collision with another vessel, while lying at anchor.

First Church Steeple across the Ipswich River by Henry Rodman Kenyon

First Church Steeple from across the Ipswich River, by Henry Rodman Kenyon

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