Thomas Hart Benton

1889 – 1975

Thomas Hart Benton


Neosho, Missouri


Modernist art, abstraction, regionalist easel and mural painting

Likely the most important painter of the American Scene movement, Thomas Hart Benton created a style and addressed subject matter that was uniquely American as well as specific to his state of Missouri, and that combined elements of modernism and realism. His signature painting was regionalist genre, especially laboring figures. In addition to many murals, he also painted landscapes and portraits. The early part of his career he lived in New York City where he taught at the Art Students League and became a major influence on the style of gestural painter, Jackson Pollock. From 1935, he established a studio in Kansas City from where he painted for the next forty years until his death at age 85.