Saturday, December 5, 2015

Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood Exhibit

Our KCPL Power Partners retirement club toured the American Epics Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO on December 3, 2015.

Most of the attendees did not realize the involvement in Hollywood that Benton had in the 30's and 40's. Many of the art works had never been shown in the gallery before. Benton was an amazingly prolific artist. Lunch was before the tour in the Rozzelle Court. 

The painting below is Benton's depiction of Hollywood.  The work was commissioned by a magazine....can't remember if it was Life or Time.  This is the only Benton painting that I will post since photos were not allowed in the exhibit.  I got this copy from the internet.

Here is what the Nelson folks had to say about the exhibit.

"The first major exhibition on Thomas Hart Benton in more than 25 years, American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood reveals the fascinating but overlooked relationship between Benton’s art, movie making and visual storytelling in 20th-century America.

Benton’s early experiences on silent movie sets in Fort Lee, New Jersey—the first “Hollywood”—and later in Hollywood itself influenced his acute awareness of contemporary storytelling’s shift toward movies and inspired his signature style of painting that melded centuries-old traditions with more recent movie-production techniques to tell stories that appealed to a broad range of Americans.

The exhibition brings together nearly 100 works by Benton including 50 paintings and murals, as well as a selection of his drawings, prints and illustrated books. It also presents rarely seen archival photographs, related ephemera, film clips and stills that highlight the allure of his paintings’ cinematic content, composition and technical underpinnings."

Manger scene in Kirkwood Hall.

Lunch at Rozzelle Court before the tour.

American artist, Philip Haas, has his "The Four Seasons" on display on the Donald J Hall (think Hallmark Cards) Sculpture Park outside the museum.

Massive columns are an architectural feature of Kirkwood Hall. 

A few of the art pieces at the entry to the museum from the parking garage.

Our group waiting for our tour guides.

A special showing of a book of Nelson's works that one of our members donated to the Nelson was held in the Spencer Art Reference Library.

Sigrid really enjoyed the day.

If you ever find yourself in Kansas City and looking for things to do, a visit to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is a great place to tour.  You can spend anywhere from an hour to a couple of days and probably still not see everything.  It is a world class collection of art.

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