Thomas Hart Benton: Missouri Artist

Explore the life and career of Missouri-born artist Thomas Hart Benton in these books and documentary at the Library.

Related event:
Meet the Past: Thomas Hart Benton, July 14

An Artist in America
By Thomas Hart Benton
In this autobiography, Benton writes about his life and career. It includes descriptions of his boyhood in Missouri and his travels, as well as discussions of specific works of art and other artists.

More recommended reading:
Art in Missouri

Thomas Hart Benton (1989)
Filmmaker Ken Burns profiled Thomas Hart Benton in this PBS documentary. The film uses long-lost footage, interviews, and the art of Benton to tell the bittersweet story of this extraordinary American artist.

Thomas Hart Benton: Drawing from Life
By Henry Adams
Written to accompany an exhibition at the Henry Art Gallery, this book examines Thomas Hart Benton’s drawings and their impact on his art and includes over 190 illustrations.

Thomas Hart Benton: An American Original
By Henry Adams
This book is a catalog of an exhibition organized by and held at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in 1989 and other museums.

Ceremony book jacket

Thomas Hart Benton and the Indiana Murals
By Kathleen A. Foster, Nanette Esseck Brewer, and Margaret Contompasis
Ringing the Indiana Hall at Chicago's Century of Progress Exposition in 1933 was a bold and colorful cycle of paintings by American muralist Thomas Hart Benton, depicting the history of the Hoosier state. This full-scale treatment of the history, method, and significance of this monument of American public art, this book features a full-color gatefold showing the flow of the murals and a portfolio of color reproductions of the 22 extant panels with interpretive texts. Accompanying essays discuss the murals' history and their installation at Indiana University, the visual narrative that Benton invented, the artist's method as seen in a series of preparatory drawings, and a detailed account of their conservation.

Thomas Hart Benton and the American South
By J. Richard Gruber
Written to accompany a traveling exhibition, this book looks at Benton’s travel throughout the South and its influence on his work.

Only the Rivers are Peaceful: Thomas Hart Benton's Missouri Mural
By Bob Priddy
This book includes information on the history of the mural, the controversy that surrounded it, and what it represents.

Renegade Regionalists: The Modern Independence of Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry
By James M. Dennis
Famous for iconic images of the rural Midwest, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry have long been lumped together under the rubric the "Regionalists." James M. Dennis offers a fresh and sophisticated look at the modernist tendencies of this trio of American painters, arguing that the individual styles of Wood, Benton, and Curry were both mislabeled and misunderstood. Revisiting the artistic and political culture of America between the World Wars, he shows that critics and ideologues pigeonholed, praised, or pilloried the Regionalists to serve their own critical intentions.

Some book descriptions provided by BookLetters.