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Thomas Hart Benton Art

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Thomas Hart Benton (Born 1889) was born in rural Neosho, Missouri but gained fame as an artist in cities such as Paris, Chicago, and New York. The encouragement of his congressman father and his strong political background notwithstanding, he shunned politics in favor of art school and became the best known muralist of the 1930s. After trying his hand in cartoon drawing, he enrolled in the Art Institute of Chicago and later went to Paris and joined the Academie Julian where he continued with his studies. While in Paris, the artist met Diego Rivera, the renowned Mexican muralist, whose portrayal of social realities and use of vivid colors heavily influenced his style during his formative years. He’s associated with the American Scene Painting movement of those ages. Along with John Steuart Curry and Grant Wood, he was at the head of the Regionalist art movement. He returned from Paris in 1913, and immediately got a job as a draftsman for the Navy. This made him to switch from painting landscapes to sketching scenes. Though he studied in Paris, his work is strongly associated with the Midwestern United States. His early years as an artist was characterized by migration between the Paris art scene, disparate environments like the rural American Southeast, and the Naval shipyards, and these movements played a big role in building his view of the tension between agrarian and cosmopolitan life. He used high quality materials in producing his work, especially the framed Thomas Hart Benton art. Influenced by Stanton Macdonald-Wright, he subsequently adopted a Synchromist style.
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