Saturday, October 4, 2014


Missouri born Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), painter and muralist, was considered one of America's  "Regionalist" artists.  The Midwest was his forte.
He observed everything he could about ordinary American life during the 1920s and 1930s and recorded what he saw in his sketches.  He then used his sketches as the basis for his paintings and murals. Benton built small clay models, or maquettes, for each painting. Then he painted his scenes while looking at his clay models. (via)
 You can read more about him here.  

Here are a few of his paintings:
The Wreck of The Ole '97                  1943

The Yankee Driver            1920
Cradling Wheat                        1938

Sugar Cane                 1943

Self Portrait         1972 

The Ballad of the Jealous Lover of Lone Green Valley      1934

The model for the young harmonica player in the foreground above was Jackson Pollock (1912-1956).  From Pollock's wiki:

In 1930, following his older brother Charles Pollock, he moved to New York City, where they both studied under Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students LeagueBenton's rural American subject matter had little influence on Pollock's work, but his rhythmic use of paint and his fierce independence were more lasting.[4] In the early 1930s Pollock spent a summer touring the Western United States together with Glen Rounds, a fellow art student, and Benton, their teacher.[8][9]

From Benton's wiki:  "Pollock often said that Benton's traditional teachings gave him something to rebel against."

Lest you think their relationship was unimportant, take a peek at this book.

More on Pollock

Here a few of Jackson Pollock's works:

Going West              c 1934-38

Naked Man with a Knife            c 1938

Frieze                c.    1953-55

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