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#3 Thomas Hart Benton – June Morning



#3 Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889 – 1975), June Morning, 1945, oil on masonite, 42 x 48 in., Purchased with funds from the Cummer Council, the Morton R. Hirschberg Memorial Fund, and the Mae W. Schultz Acquisition Endowment, AP.1994.2.1. Art © T.H. Benton and R.P. Benton Testamentary Trusts/UMB Bank Trustee/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

Thomas Hart Benton used his art to elevate the experiences of everyday people and ordinary events.  Characteristic of his mature style, June Morning depicts a view from his mother’s house on Martha’s Vineyard.  In the foreground, the vibrant, twining foliage parts to reveal Benton’s neighbor milking a cow. The Atlantic Ocean is visible in the distance.  Painted one month after Germany’s surrender in World War II, this work is Benton’s patriotic testament to the strength of the American spirit in the face of the destructive powers of war.

© T. H. Benton and R. P. Benton Testamentary Trusts/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

“I come often to view this piece.  A great American Regionalist painter, Thomas Hart Benton captures the glory in a casual morning moment after the war.  The symbolism and contrast of dark and light bring life to painting.  I particularly enjoy the swirling movement in the work, as if there is a rhythm to the brushstrokes.” – Meghan Monahan

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