Thomas Hart Benton by Henry Adams
Discoveries and Interpretations

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Few American artists have incited more controversy than Thomas Hart Benton. Argumentative, brilliant, and enormously influential, Benton painted for nearly seventy years, inspiring acclaim and loathing among students, friends, fellow artists, and outraged critics.

Now, in a series of provocative essays, premier Benton scholar Henry Adams examines the many facets of the man as artist and the pitched battles of his long career, including the fight that raged over the subject matter of his murals, the real reasons for Benton’s feud with the radical left and his fall from grace in the New York art world, and his tumultuous, 36-year-long love-hate relationship with the student with whom he worked most closely, another iconic artist of the 20th century, Jackson Pollock. Adams ends with an account of his own twenty-five-year struggle to expose fakes of Benton’s work.


About Henry Adams

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Henry Adams is a graduate of Harvard University and received his MA and Ph.D from Yale, where he received the Frances Blanshard Prize for the best doctoral dissertation in Art History. He is the author of more than 350 publications on American art, includingEakins Revealed, which Andrew Wyeth described as “without question the most extraordinary biography I have ever read on an artist.” Currently the Ruth Coulter Heede Professor of Art History at Case Western Reserve University, he is widely regarded as the foremost scholar of Thomas Hart Benton's work. He was the curator of the centennial exhibition of Benton's work at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in 1989. In partnership with film maker Ken Burns, he developed a documentary film on Benton which was broadcast nationally on PBS to an audience of over 20 million.
Published December 1, 2015 by University of Missouri. 336 pages
Genres: Arts & Photography.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Thomas Hart Benton

American regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton (1889–1975) was an iconoclastic, Steinbeckian character, vilified as a rube by the established art community and still generating strong opinions today. Longtime Benton scholar Adams (Thomas Hart Benton: An American Original) has compiled 16 lecture...

Dec 01 2015 | Read Full Review of Thomas Hart Benton: Discoveri...