Thomas Hart Benton American, 1889-1975


Thomas Hart Benton's name is synonymous with American Regionalism. Born in Neosho, Missouri, which is by all accounts your typical middle-American town, as the son of a U.S. Congressman and grandson of a U.S. Senator, it is no wonder Benton's best works present both the realities of and political commentary on American life. Benton studied art first at the Art Institute of Chicago before studying for three years in Paris at the Academie Julien. When Benton returned for Paris, he settled in New York, where, to his dismay, his European modernist paintings did not sell. After serving time in World War I as a draftsman in the Navy, Benton turned to realism, and his first post-war exhibition of these works were a success.  His true acclaim as an artist began with the mural "The American Historical Epic" for the New School of Social Research in New York City.


Architectural League of America, 1933 (gold)

Wanamaker's Exhibition, New York City, 1934 (prize

Museum of Modern Art, New York

Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York

Capitol, Jefferson, Missouri

Indiana State University

New School for Social Research

Whitney Museum of American Art


Museums and Public Collections

Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA

Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, Missouri

Arkell Museum at Canajoharie, New York

Art Institute of Chicago 

Asheville Art Museum, North Carolina

Ball State Museum of Art, Indiana

Block Museum of Art, Indiana

Brooklyn Museum, New York City 

Canton Museum of Art, Ohio

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

Cummer Museum of Art, Jacksonville, Florida

Currier Gallery of Art, New Hampshire

Dallas Museum of Art, Texas

Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina

Harvard University Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C

Hofstra University Museum, Hempstead, NY

Hunter Museum of American Art, Tennessee

The Huntington Library, California

Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana

Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California

Maier Museum of Art at Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Virginia

Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, New York

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, Tennessee

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

Minnesota Museum of American Art, Saint Paul

Mint Museum of Art, North Carolina

Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas

Museum of Nebraska Art at the University of Nebraska

National Academy Museum & School of Fine Arts, New York City

National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri

Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma

Orlando Museum of Art, Florida

Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Pomona College Museum of Art, California

Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey

Ringling Museum of Art, Florida

Sheldon Art Gallery, Lincoln, Nebraska

Sioux City Art Center, Iowa

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Southern Alleghenies Museum, Pennsylvania

Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas

Swope Art Museum, Indiana

Tampa Museum of Art, Florida

Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid

Tweed Museum of Art at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, Minnesota

U.S. Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington D.C.

Virtual Museum of Canada

Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City

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