Thomas Hart Benton

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Muralist, Regionalist Movement, Midwest, landscapes, K.C.A.I.




Noted in his artwork as a keen depicter of Midwestern life, Thomas Hart Benton—namesake of his uncle, one of the first two Missourians elected to the United States Senate—didn’t just live in Missouri, he embodied it.  His regionalist murals dramatizing working life in the Midwestern landscape gained international appeal.  His Social History of Missouri, on display in the state capitol, was completed in 1936, when Benton had returned from the New York art scene.  He took a job teaching at the Kansas City Art Institute and bought a home in the Valentine area, converting its carriage house into a studio.  He lived and worked there until his death in 1975.