Mapping The Wide Reach Of Missouri Artist Thomas Hart Benton | KCUR

Mapping The Wide Reach Of Missouri Artist Thomas Hart Benton

Oct 21, 2015

Bootleggers, 1927
Credit 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:

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