Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thursday, October 19, 1933

Mother was sick in bed all day. I looked for the different types of columns for my History lesson.

Thomas Hart Benton (April 15, 1889 – January 19, 1975)

Born in Neosho, Missouri, Benton was an American painter and muralist who, along
 with Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry, was at the forefront of the Regionalist art movement.
Though he lived in New York for more than 20 years and summered at Martha's Vineyard most
 of his adult life, his ties to Missouri remained strong.

He was commissioned to create a mural for the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City. There
 was quite a bit of controversy over A Social History of Missouri because he included subjects of
slavery, the Missouri outlaw Jesse James and political boss Tom Pendergast. After teaching for
several years at the Art Students League in New York, Benton accepted a teaching position
 with the Kansas City Art Institute. He also created a number of other murals, including
Independence and the Opening of The West, for the Harry S. Truman Library
in Independence, that remain in place today.

Benton died in 1975 at work in his Kansas City studio, just as he completed his final mural,
The Sources of Country Music, for the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN. His wife
of 53 years died ten weeks later. In 1977, Benton's 2 1/2 story late-Victorian residence and
carriage house studio in Kansas City was designated the Thomas Hart Benton  Home and
Studio State Historic Site. The site remains virtually unchanged from its appearance at the
time of his death; clothing, furniture, and paint brushes are still in place. Displaying 13
 original works of his art, the house museum is open for guided tours.

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