Drawn from the Museum’s extensive print collection—America Seen! shows a dimension of Thomas Hart Benton’s career, alongside works by many of his contemporaries.
American Scene painting and Regionalism emerged in the 1920s and 1930s with images of nostalgic, rural subjects that critics positioned as an authentic, reassuring counterpoint to European modernism. Artists such as Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood were nonetheless wrestling with modern issues, and their influences were international in scope.
Inspired by Mexican muralists José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera, among others, they depicted mass amusements and popular entertainments, economic and social issues, politics and racism, industry and agriculture.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.