Thomas Hart Benton 1935
Thomas Hart Benton was one of the great American, Regionalist artists, along with Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry. Benton created memorable oil paintings, lithographs and murals depicting America’s rural landscape, particularly in the Midwestern United States. Benton was born in Missouri where he developed an early interest in the arts, particularly drawing and cartooning. Under his mother’s support, Benton was able to pursue an art education in Chicago and Paris.
The Lonesome Road. 1938. Lithograph
During World War I, Benton served as a ship painter, creating camouflage patterns at a shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia. Working for the Navy heavily influenced Benton’s artistic career. After the war Benton moved to New York City where he pursued a career as a representational painter. As Benton’s reputation expanded, he was commissioned to paint murals in Bloomington, Indiana and Jefferson City, Missouri.
Photographing the Bull. 1950. Lithograph
Frankie and Johnnie. 1936. Lithograph
Edge of Town. 1938. Lithograph
Benton is also remembered for instructing a large number of famous artists, including Jackson Pollock, Charles Pollock, Dennis Hopper and Reginald Marsh. Benton was employed for several years at the Arts Student League in New York and at the Art Institute in Kansas City.
Strike. 1933-35. Lithograph
In addition to Marsh’s memorable paintings and murals, his lithographs are some of the most iconic images from the Regionalist period. His lithographs are dramatic interpretations of American farm life that touch on a number of socio-economic issues during the early 20th century.