Corita Kent is today’s Google Doodle. She was a Roman Catholic nun famous for her pop art work in Los Angeles and Boston. It would be her 96th birthday. Here’s what you need to know.
1. She Was Born in Iowa
Corita Kent was chosen for today’s Google Doodle because it would be her 96th birthday. The Doodle is only being displayed in the United States.
Kent was born as Frances Elizabeth Kent in Fort Dodge, Iowa on November 20, 1918. Her father soon relocated their family to Vancouver, Canada to pursue business opportunities, then eventually moved to California where Kent attended school.
2. She Became a Nun After High School
After graduating high school, Kent entered the Immaculate Heart of Mary religious community and assumed the name Sister Mary Corita. She graduated from Immaculate Heart College in 1941 with her BA. Her peers at the Immaculate Heart included such names as legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, composer John Cage, and neo-architect Buckminster Fuller.
She then earned her MA in Art History from the University of Southern California in 1951.
3. She Began Using Pop Culture as Art in 1962
Kent’s styled evolve with the pop culture scene of the 1960s after she left the nunnery and moved to Boston.
She focused on American brands and the idea of consumerism and contrasted them with spiritual concepts drawn from her religious background.
She often included slogans, lyrics, and newspaper clippings in her screen printing and artwork.
4. She Painted the ‘Gas Tank’ in Boston in 1971
Above is a photo of one of Kent’s larger works titled Love Stamp and Rainbow Swash, a 150-foot high natural gas tank in that sits in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston.
The piece is controversial because some claim that the blue stripe in the Rainbow Swash is actually the face of Vietnamese Communist leader Ho Chi Minh.
Kent was a peace activist but she denied that the paint job had anything to do with with Vietnam War protesting.
5. She Died in 1986
Kent died in September 18, 1986 at the age of 67 from cancer.
Today would be her 96th birthday.