by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton (1782-1858) was the great-great uncle of Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) the painter from Neosho, Missouri. His paintings were part of several movements including Realism and Modern Art, but he was at the forefront of the Regionalist Art movement.
The fluid, sculpted figures in his paintings showed everyday people in scenes of life in the United States. His art hangs in museums including The Met in NYC and on murals at UMKC, the Kansas City Library and the Nelson-Atkins Museum.
But, did you know that in 1939, 20th Century-Fox commissioned Benton to design and paint the promotional poster art for their motion picture Gone With the Wind?