Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975)
Thomas Hart Benton was born in Missouri on the edge of the Ozark Mountains, but spent most of his childhood in the East. He studied at the Chicago Art Institute before traveling to Paris and New York. The artist returned to Missouri in 1935 to solidify his Regionalist identity. Even though Benton publicly rejected European modernism, he had been influenced early in his career by Picasso, Cezanne and Matisse. His Modernist beginnings lingered, and are evident in this work as willful distortions of the figures.