Thomas Hart Benton

Thomas Hart Benton
Also Known as
Tom Benton
Thomas H. Benton
Neosho, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri
Active in
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Artist Biography

Benton's idiom was essentially political and rhetorical, the painterly equivalent of the country stump speeches that were a Benton family tradition. The artist vividly recalled accompanying his father, Maecenas E. Benton—a four-term U.S. congressman, on campaigns through rural Missouri. Young Tom Benton grew up with an instinct for constituencies that led him to assess art on the basis of its audience appeal. His own art, after the experiments with abstraction, was high-spirited entertainment designed to catch and hold an audience with a political message neatly bracketed between humor and local color.

Elizabeth Broun "Thomas Hart Benton: A Politician in Art," Smithsonian Studies in American Art Spring 1987, p. 61

Works by This Artist