THOMAS HART BENTON: The Sources of Country Music, c.1975

Thomas Hart Benton was a major American artist from Missouri. His paintings are famous for showing ordinary people doing common things. He drew and painted portraits, landscapes, and scenes of people at work in farms, factories, and busy cities. His best-known works are public murals, or scenes on the inside walls of buildings. Benton’s murals are lively records of life in America from pioneer times onward.

Benton was labeled as American scene painter also known as Regionalism. American scene painting refers to a naturalist style of painting and other works of art of the 1920s through the 1950s in the United States.  His fluid, almost sculpted paintings showed everyday scenes of life in the United States. American scene painting conveys a sense of nationalism and romanticism in depictions of everyday American life.

During the 1930s, these artists documented and depicted American cities, small towns, and rural landscapes. Some did so as a way to return to a simpler time away from industrialization whereas others sought to make a political statement and lent their art to revolutionary and radical causes.

Thomas Hart Benton was eighty-four in 1973, when he came out of retirement to paint a mural for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. His assignment was to describe the regional sources of the musical style known as “country,” and Benton couldn’t resist the opportunity to paint one last celebration of homegrown American traditions.

Sources Of Country Music, by Thomas Hart Benton c. 1975

 The Sources of Country Music is currently on display in the Country Music Hall of Fame Rotunda and is part of the exhibit tour.

This link is a wonderful presentation of the making of this mural.

April 26, 2011 PowerPoint THOMAS HART BENTON Sources of Country Music  

If you were absent, review the PowerPoint from this class and turn in to me your answers to the essay questions at our next class.         -Mrs. S

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”  Hebrews 11:1

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