April 2, 2014
The artist I will be writing on is Thomas Hart Benton. He was born on April 15, 1889. He was born in Neosha, Missouri and died in Kansas City, Missouri on January 19, 1975 at the age of 86. He died of heart disease. He was born into a family of lawyer-politicians. His great-uncle had been a United States senator; his father, Maecenas Benton, known as the Colonel, was a congressman. As a boy, Benton accompanied his father on rural campaigns. He made note, and later made use, of the Colonel’s pronouncement-prone stump style. And he never forgot the experience of hearing everyday people talking about what mattered in their lives. In his teens, he enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, focusing on illustration and newspaper cartooning. But he soon became interested in painting and decided to head to Paris, where he landed with little money. He stayed for three years, splitting his time between copying old masters in the Louvre and immersing himself in a modern art scene that was, in the years before World War I. Benton's primary type of arwork was painting. He used sketches as the basis for his paintings, and he built small clay models, or maquettes, for each painting. Style of Art/Period in History
Thomas Benton's period of art was Social realism, American realism, American modernism, Modern art, Regionalism. Benton's vivid, stylized portrayal of pre-industrial agrarian life and his later emphasis on the plight of the working class in the post-Depression era earned him a reputation as a social activist, and he gained publicity through public works projects. Within the broad American Scene Painting Movement, Benton is most closely associated with Regionalism a movement that rejected modernism in favor of a naturalistic and representational style. Regionalism gained recognition through public art works in highly visible locations such as banks, post offices, and...
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