The distinctive art and writing of Robert A. Powell has long been acclaimed as a dynamic force in capturing
and depicting vibrant images of Kentucky’s remarkable history and heritage. His track record includes 32 published books,
hundreds of art prints, hundreds of sketchbook calendars, hundreds of articles about Kentucky subjects, speaking engagements,
seminars and in-service programs.
A native Kentuckian
Robert A. Powell grew up in the Appalachian foothills of Powell County and the Bluegrass country in Fayette County.
His love for Kentucky’s heritage and history has taken him to all 120 counties - to research, photograph and sketch.
RAP is an author, historian, teacher, photographer, speaker, journalist, artist and businessman.
After graduating from Bryan Station High School in Lexington, he earned his BA degree
at Kentucky Wesleyan, and then pursued graduate studies in communications at UK and Western.
Powell worked as a journalist for the Clay City Times, Lexington Herald-Leader, and
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer. He taught journalism, art and English at high schools in both Kentucky and Florida,
and served as a public relations specialist for the Kentucky Department of Education, the U. S. Office of Education, and Appalachian
In 1971 RAP started his own publishing company,
Kentucky Images, which he operated until 1994, when he moved to Florida. He returned to his native
state in 2001 to serve as the Director of Development for Pioneer Playhouse in Danville.
Robert A. Powell was selected as one of the original Kentucky Heritage Artists in 1972,
and was named Author of the Year by the Kentucky School Librarians
in 1985. He has received many honors and citations from various groups and associations across the state.
As an author, Powell has written and illustrated 32 books including THIS
IS KENTUCKY, his first book, which was released in 1974. Some of his more popular books include Kentucky
Governors, Kentucky’s Covered Bridges, Sketches of Kentucky and a unique miniature volume,
Kentucky Sketchbook. In 1977 he created a Kentucky history textbook for middle school
students, and with his daughter Karen, created one for 4th graders (Frontier Kentucky) two years
was proclaimed by the Lexington Herald-Leader as “quite likely the most influential
popular chronicler of Kentucky in recent years." Powell utilizes his unique talents for his new book
"It Happened Today! in Kentucky History" by including fascinating tidbits from Kentucky's
rich and colorful history in a daily journal format. He has included a variety of incidents and activities for each day of
the calendar year - over a span of time from 1759 through 2011.