Thomas Hart Benton Biography
Birthday: April 15, 1889 (Aries)
Born In: Missouri
Thomas Hart Benton was a painter and muralist considered to be one of the foremost figures of the American Scene Painting movement of the 1930s. His most popular works included his paintings of the scenes of the American South and the American West. As a painter he preferred a naturalistic and representational style and liked to paint people as they went about their chores in normal day-to-day life. The artists of the Regionalism movement rejected modernism and were more drawn to a simpler and naturalistic presentation of art, Benson being one of them. Born into a family of politicians, he found himself under immense pressure to follow in his famous politician father’s footsteps. However the close proximity to a political life disillusioned him and he rebelled against his father and decided to pursue a career in arts. Thanks to the support of his mother he was able to attend art school and develop his artistic abilities. During the World War I he worked with the U.S. Navy and drew camouflage illustrations of shipyards. His stint with the Navy deeply influenced his future painting styles. A self proclaimed “enemy of modernism”, Benton and the artists Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry were hailed as the three great painters of American Regionalism.