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Thomas Hart Benton American Regionalist

             Throughout out the history of mankind, art has played an important part in the every day lives of people. Art is everywhere around us. It is in the paper that we read the children's books we grew up with, and on the billboard s we pass on the side of the road. Art has the ability to inspire us and lead us. It's in the magazines we look at, the pictures that we hang on our wall, and even in the video games we play on the computer. It can change our attitude on a subject and has the ability to give us a whole new perspective on life. It has the ability to bring past events to life and bring outdoor scenes into our living rooms. The 1930's saw the rise of the American Regionalist movement. At the heart of this movement was Thomas Hart Benton. During his career he painted over 75 paintings not including stationary murals from before his death in 1975 . During his career he was also known as the enemy of modernism . Thomas Benton Hart's artwork captures the lives of early twentieth century Americans with a striking reality. .
             To better understand the work of Thomas Hart Benton we must first learn about his life from the beginning. Thomas Hart Benton was born in Neosho Missouri in 1889; born in the post-civil war era, Benton saw significant change in his lifetime. Born to a middle class family, Benton had many jobs throughout his lifetime. Named after his great uncle; Missouri's first state senator, Benton was instantly surrounded by the political scene, which would become the subject of a great many of his works. His father, a prominent man, was an U.S. attorney and Representative from 1896 to1904 -. His education began at the Western Military Academy in Altm Illinois, where he learned such sports as Fly Weight Boxing . At the young age of sixteen Benton began his education in the arts at the Institute of Chicago. Three years later at nineteen Benton headed for Paris to begin studies at the Academie Julian.

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