A snowbird shows photos from southwest Florida and southern New England and other places he goes.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Arts of the South and Arts of the City
Thomas Hart Benson painted these fascinating murals in 1932, in the middle of the Depression. The Arts of the South is at left and part of the Arts of the City is at the right. The entire work comprises five murals filling an entire room at the New Britain Museum of American Art, which is 15 minutes west of Hartford. The murals were purchased in 1953 from the Whitney Museum in New York, which had commissioned them to fit a room in that museum.
Benson came from a political family. His uncle of the same name was a U. S. Senator from Missouri. The artist affiliated with left-wing politics and alienated many in the Establishment arts community with his out-of-fashion realistic style and his abrasive personality. Today Benton is identified as the leader of the school of art called Regionalism.