Meadowlark Gallery: The Artist Biographies

Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975)
Thomas Hart Benton was born in Neosho, Missouri in 1889 and died in Kansas City, Missouri in 1975. He was an important realist painter of the regional school, a muralist, printmaker, teacher, and writer. A member of the famous Missouri political family, Tom Benton grew up near the Ozarks. He left at the age of seventeen to study at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1906 to 1907 and in Paris at the Julien Academy from 1908 to 1911. When he returned to New York City, he began as a professional painter in 1912 but was unable to sell his paintings based on European modernism. In World War I, Benton was an architectural draftsman for the Navy and forced into realism. At his first postwar exhibition, some of his new paintings sold. He taught at the Art Students League in New York City from 1926 to 1935. During this period, Benton traveled all over the United States, sketching in the industrial centers, the South, the Far West, Texas, and New Mexico. After twenty years in New York City, Benton left and returned to Missouri as the director of painting at the Kansas City Art League.
View high resolution images of works by Thomas Hart Benton when available.