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Donald Lent papers

Identifier: MC084

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains material created and collected by Donald Lent, a member of the Bates faculty and Dana Professor of Art from 1970-1999. Includes sketchbooks and writings, exhibit catalogs, programs and photocopies from publications featuring his artwork, news clippings, and assorted publicity brochures.


  • 1962-1998, undated


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.

Historical Note

Born in 1933, Donald Lent was raised in Marblehead, MA, and served as a Russian translator in the United States Army from 1952 to 1955. He received a B.A. degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he studied painting and drawing with William Dole and Howard Warshaw. Lent received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from Yale and returned to USC, Santa Barbara, where he taught for several years. In 1970, not long after spending a year teaching at Bowdoin College, Lent came to Bates as the Dana Professor of Art and chairman of the Art Department, retiring in 1999.

At Bates, Lent taught painting, drawing and printmaking but his work and influence extended beyond the classroom. As part of a renovation of Chase Hall in the early 1970s, Lent painted a mural based on Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and in 1971 during Short Term, Lent's students created a mural in downtown Lewiston which portrayed 'the world of the pedestrian.' Lent also created sets and costumes for several Bates theater productions including The Trojan Women, Love's Labours Lost, Caucasian Chalk Circle, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

In addition to his numerous individual paintings and drawings, Lent's artwork illustrates several literary texts including original etchings for Alan Stephens' book, The Heat Lightning. He also collaborated with Bowdoin music professor and composer Elliot Schwartz to create Isla Vista, a presentation featuring an electronic composition and slides of drawings and paintings. The presentation was shown at Bowdoin College and on WCBB-TV.

His work has been shown throughout the country with solo exhibitions at the Esther Bear Gallery in Santa Barbara, Maine Coast Artists in Rockport, University of Maine at Orono, State University of New York, Binghamton, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bates College, and others. Two exhibitions, one at Bowdoin in 1967 and the other at the Treat Gallery at Bates in 1971, were accompanied by catalogues and essays by Marvin Sadik (Bowdoin) and Phillip Isaacson (Bates). Group exhibitions include the Grolier Society, New York; the Barone Gallery, New York; Harvard University; New York Public Library; Long Beach State College, California; and Matin Village Gallery, London.


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Language of Materials



Contains sketchbooks, writings, exhibit catalogs, programs and other material created and collected by Donald Lent, Dana Professor of Art at Bates College from 1970 to 1999.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is organized into three series: I. Sketchbooks/Writings; II. Publications; and III. Publicity material.

Acquisition and Custody Information

Gift of Donald Lent, 1999. Accession No.: 99-008.

Processing Information

Processed by Elaine Ardia, 2008.

Guide to the Donald Lent papers, 1962-1998, undated
Edited Full Draft
Elaine Ardia
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in: English
Edition statement

Repository Details

Part of the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library Repository

70 Campus Avenue
Lewiston Maine 04240 United States of America
207-755-5911 (Fax)