Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) is one of my favorite American artists. He was one of the foremost practitioners of what came to be know as Regionalism, and is primarily known for his murals which depicted the life of the everyday American, especially those who lived in rural areas.
Until yesterday, I had never seen any of his work outside of a museum - the Nelson- Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri has a fantastic collection of his larger paintings, and Indiana University houses a set of large murals he did on panels for the state's entry in the 1933 Century of Progress exhibition in Chicago.
Yesterday I learned that the Evergreen Fine Art Gallery (3042 Evergreen Parkway, Evergreen, Co.) was featuring works from the estate of Thomas Hart Benton, and even work from the artist's personal collection.
So of course yesterday I drove up to Evergreen, about thirty minutes from my home.
The exhibition features about two dozen paintings, lithographs, watercolors, and ink/pencil studies, all of which are for sale. Small sketches in pencil start at around $6,000, while an original oil will set you back anywhere from $295,000 to $375,000.
So, yeah, I didn't pick up anything to hang on the living room wall.
Thomas Hart Benton, 5 Figures - 3 Holding, pencil on paper
I enjoyed the exhibition though, which is being held from May 9th through June 6th. The Evergreen Fine Art Gallery staff has done a great job of curating the show, and also has a number of pieces from many other well-known southwestern artists on display, as well as a rather nice sculpture garden.
Thomas Hart Benton, Cement Mill, watercolor & guache on paper
Thomas Hart Benton, Apache Reservation, ink wash/pencil on paper
Thomas Hart Benton, Repairing the Sloop, lithograph 1973