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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. A member of the famous Missouri political family, Benton grew up near the Ozarks. He left at 17 to study at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1906-07 and in Paris at the Julien Academy 1908-11. Back in New York City, he was a professional painter beginning 1912, but unable to sell his painting based on European modernism. In WWI, Benton was an architectural draftsman fro the Navy, forced into realism. At his first postwar exhibition, some of his new paintings sold. He taught at the Art Students League from 1926-35. During this period, Benton traveled all over the US, sketching in the industrial centers, the South, the Far West, Texas, and New Mexico. After 20 years in New York City, Benton left what he termed an intellectually diseased lot of painters to return to Missouri as director of painting at Kansas City Art Institute. He has become famous when he painted the Contemporary America mural called “tabloid art” for the New School in New York City. When he painted the 45,000 sq. ft. mural for the Missouri State Capital in 1935-36, he rejected customary heroic figures for Boss Prendergast, Jesse James, and Frankie and Johnny. With Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry, Benton realistically portrayed the essence of an American region.
The lithograph is currently at the art restoration studio to remove the water marks on the right hand side, and also to remove a few small creases in the paper, and work on it has not been started yet. The restorer says it will be $300 for the job. The tear (see pic) in the middle can't be repaired, but luckily, it's in an area which is all black so it doesn't show, unless you search for it. Please bid on this item as it will be after restoration, and if you are not happy with the results of the work, or if you want it before she has restored it, I will refund $300 from your purchase price for the "as is" price.
The lithograph comes with the current frame and matting if you want to pick it up before restoration with $300 off. If you wait, it will have new acid-free matting, and the same original frame.