Corita Kent (November 20, 1918 – September 18, 1986), aka Sister Mary Corita Kent, was born Frances Elizabeth Kent in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Kent was an artist and an educator who worked in Los Angeles and Boston. She worked almost exclusively with silkscreen and serigraphy, helping to establish it as a fine art medium. Her artwork, with its messages of love and peace, was particularly popular during the social upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s. Kent designed the 1985 United States Postal Service annual “love” stamp.
After high school, Kent entered the Roman Catholic order of Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Los Angeles. She took classes at Otis (now Otis College of Art and Design) and Chouinard Art Institute and earned her BA from Immaculate Heart College in 1941. She earned her MA at the University of Southern California in Art History in 1951. Between 1938 and 1968 Kent lived and worked in the Immaculate Heart Community. She taught in the Immaculate Heart College and was the chairman of its art department. She left the order in 1968 and moved to Boston, where she devoted herself to making art. She died of cancer in 1986.
Kent created several hundred serigraph designs, for posters, book covers, and murals. Her work includes the 1985 Love Stamp and Rainbow Swash (1971), the 150-foot (46 m)-high natural gas tank in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston.
[Ed Note: I remember when Corita Kent’s work started appearing and it wasn’t long before her style of art was everywhere. Personally I believe her contributions and the impact of her work has been greatly under-rated.]