Thomas Hart Benton, Self-Portrait with Rita (1922)

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution/Art Resource, NY. Works of Art by Thomas Hart Benton are © T.H. Benton and R.P. Benton Testamentary Trusts/UMB Bank Trustee/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood

On view June 6, 2015 to September 7, 2015

Located in the: Special Exhibition Galleries

This is the first major exhibition on Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) in more than 25 years and the first to explore important connections between Benton's art and the movies. After working briefly in the silent film industry, Benton became acutely aware of storytelling's shift toward motion pictures and developed a cinematic style of painting that melded European art historical traditions and modern movie production techniques. In paintings, murals, drawings, prints and illustrated books, Benton reinvented national narratives for 20th-century America and captivated the public with his visual storytelling.

The Peabody Essex Museum organized this exhibition in collaboration with the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art.

The exhibition was made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence. Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch and The Lynch Foundation provided generous support. Christie's provided in-kind support. The East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum also provided support.