We made an extended pit stop in Kansas City. This allowed us to the visit the home and studio of the artist Thomas Hart Benton. A figure I love despite the fact that he isn't the greatest painter. He was a great illustrator for his time, and his murals still have an allure. But he was ultimately on the wrong side of history. He was a teach and eventual friend of Jackson Pollock. He wrote off abstraction and eventually severed ties with the New York scene. They however came to define American art and his brand of mid-western realism has drifted into relative obscurity. Except in Kansas City where his studio was.
This is a great photographic portrait of Benton which now hangs in his house. It depicts him painting his own self-portrait in oil. It has a delightful mirroring effect.
Benton was only 5'3". A kind of Napolean of pre-war American art. This cut out is his actual height.
He died in his studio and it has been left mostly untouched since that day. It was very modest for the amazing amount of output he created. Including murals for many civic buildings around America.
But if you are up at 6 am in KC we would definitely recommend a visit.
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