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Mapping The Wide Reach Of Missouri Artist Thomas Hart Benton

Courtesy of Reynolda House Museum of American Art

Artist Thomas Hart Benton was a larger-than-life figure. A muralist who's well-known in Missouri, where he was born and lived the last three decades of his life — he's not as familiar as he once was outside the Kansas City area.

But that's starting to change. 

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, recently opened an exhibition of works by Benton called American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood with a focus on the influence of the motion picture industry on his signature style of painting. 

This traveling exhibition — organized by the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Nelson-Atkins — marks the first retrospective for the artist in 25 years. Nearly 100 works are on display, including 50 paintings and murals, as well as drawings, prints and illustrated books. 

It's widely known that the Nelson-Atkins has the largest public holdings of work by Benton. This made us wonder — what other arts institutions collect Benton's works? 

Here's a map:

Are we missing something? Do you have something to add? Shoot us an email at arts@kcur.org.

Laura Spencer is an arts reporter at KCUR 89.3. You can reach her on Twitter, @lauraspencer.

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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