Thomas Hart Benton was an influential American painter, muralist, and artist who lived in the first half of the 20th century. He was born in Neosho, Missouri, on April 15th, 1889, to a family with deep roots in American history. His great-grandfather, Jesse Benton, was a senator and a close advisor to President Andrew Jackson. Thomas Benton’s own career would see him become an important figure in the art world, with his distinctive style capturing the essence of life in America during his time.
In this blog post, we will explore the life and legacy of Thomas Hart Benton, looking at his unique style, major works, and contributions to American art.
Thomas Hart Benton Quotes
Thomas Hart Benton was a prolific artist and thinker, and his insights into art and life still resonate today. Here are some of his most famous quotes:
- “I was convinced that painting was a dead art. I wanted to bring it back to life by injecting an American sensibility.”
- “Art is not an escape, but a way of finding order in chaos, a way of confronting life and understanding it.”
- “Art is something to be looked at and something to be used. It is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.”
These quotes demonstrate Benton’s unique perspective on art, which prioritized the role of the artist as an active agent in shaping society and culture.
Where Did Thomas Hart Benton Go to College?
Thomas Hart Benton attended the Art Institute of Chicago in 1907 before moving to Paris to study at the Académie Julian. There he met fellow artists such as Diego Rivera and studied the techniques of the old masters. When he returned to the United States, he taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and then at the Art Students League in New York City.
Why Was Thomas Hart Benton Important?
Thomas Hart Benton was an important figure in the American art world for several reasons. Firstly, his murals and paintings captured the essence of life in America during his time, portraying the struggles and triumphs of everyday people. Secondly, his unique style, which combined elements of Mexican muralism and the old masters, helped to create a new form of American art. Finally, his teachings as a professor and his role in shaping the next generation of American artists helped to establish his legacy.
Thomas Hart Benton Murals
Perhaps Benton’s most famous works are his murals, which can be found in numerous public buildings and spaces across the United States. Two of his most famous murals are “America Today,” located at the New School for Social Research in New York City, and “The Social History of the State of Missouri,” located in the Missouri State Capitol building. These murals depict scenes from American life, from bustling city streets to rural farmsteads, and showcase Benton’s distinctive style and techniques.
Thomas Hart Benton Prints
For those looking to own a piece of Benton’s work, prints are a great option. Many of his works have been reproduced as prints, including his famous murals. One popular print is “Persephone,” which depicts a mythological scene of a woman being taken to the underworld. Other prints include scenes of American life, such as “The Race” and “Haystack.”
Thomas Hart Benton Prints for Sale
Those looking to purchase a Thomas Hart Benton print can do so through a variety of avenues. Many art galleries and museums sell prints of his work, as do online retailers such as Amazon and Art.com. When purchasing a print, be sure to check for authenticity and quality, as some may be reproductions and not genuine prints.
Thomas Hart Benton Family
Thomas Hart Benton came from a family with deep roots in American history. His great-grandfather, Jesse Benton, was a senator and advisor to President Andrew Jackson. Benton’s father was a congressman and lawyer, and his mother was an accomplished musician. Benton himself was married twice and had two children.
Did Thomas Benton Shoot Andrew Jackson?
One rumor that has persisted over the years is that Thomas Hart Benton shot Andrew Jackson. However, there is no evidence to support this claim. While Benton’s great-grandfather, Jesse Benton, was a close advisor to Jackson, Benton himself was born after Jackson’s presidency and had no personal connection to him.
How Did Thomas Hart Benton Die?
Thomas Hart Benton died on January 19th, 1975, in his studio in Kansas City, Missouri. He was 85 years old. He had continued to work as an artist until his death, leaving behind a legacy of important works and contributions to American art.
What Was Thomas Hart Benton’s Last Painting?
Thomas Hart Benton’s last painting was “The Sources of Country Music,” completed in 1974. The painting depicts the origins of country music, with images of cowboys, folk musicians, and other American “types.” The painting showcases Benton’s love of American culture and his unique artistic style.
Thomas Hart Benton For Sale
For those looking to purchase a Thomas Hart Benton original, works occasionally become available for purchase through auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s. However, original Benton works can fetch high prices, with some paintings selling for millions of dollars. As an alternative, prints and reproductions of his work are a more affordable option for those looking to own a piece of his legacy.
Thomas Hart Benton was an important figure in the American art world, whose unique style and contributions helped to create a new form of American art. His paintings and murals captured the essence of life in America during his time, showcasing the struggles and triumphs of everyday people. His teachings as a professor and his role in shaping the next generation of American artists further solidified his legacy. Through his words and works, Benton’s legacy as an artist and thinker still resonates today.