Kansas City in Platte County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Thomas Hart Benton
Kansas City’s most famous artist-in-residence was Thomas Hart Benton, known for his graceful and detailed murals celebrating (and sometimes criticizing) American life. Benton was born in Neosho, Missouri, in 1889. He was the son of a lawyer-turned-United States representative, and the great-nephew of a Washington senator, for whom he was named. Following his love and talent for art, Benton enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago at age 18, and upon graduation, he headed for Paris, then New York, and finally the Navy.
While living in New York, and on Martha’s Vineyard, in the 1920s and 1930s, Benton mixed his painting with intellectual pursuits, often trading ideas with radicals of the time, many of whom extolled the virtues of Marxism. When Benton moved away from these radical ideas, these former friends turned on him. He would later use the criticism as the inspiration for several of his murals.
By the 1930s, Benton was well-established as America’s to, yet often controversial, muralist. It was around this time that he decided to return to his Midwest roots and teach at the Kansas City Art Institute. He was dismissed after a dispute in 1941, but continued to live and work in Kansas City until his death in 1975 at the age of 86.
Going out as colorfully as he lived, Benton simply collapsed at his easel,
Erected by Kansas City International Airport. (Marker Number C4.)
Location. 39° 19.065′ N, 94° 41.89′ W. Marker is in Kansas City, Missouri, in Platte County. Touch for map. Marker is at Passenger Kiosk C4, in Economy Parking Lot C, at Kansas City International Airport, 601 Brasilia Avenue. Marker is in this post office area: Kansas City MO 64153, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Garment District (within shouting distance of this marker); Lewis and Clark (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Swope Park (about 400 feet away); On The River (about 400 feet away); All That Jazz (about 600 feet away); Sweet Tooth (about 700 feet away); One of KC's Oldest (about 800 feet away); City of Fountains (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kansas City.
More about this marker. The Economy Parking Lots' passenger kiosks each have unique historical markers and flashy
Also see . . .
1. Thomas Hart Benton: Famous Missourian. (Submitted on June 7, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Thomas Hart Benton Profile by Ken Burns. (Submitted on June 7, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio State Historical Site. (Submitted on June 7, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Thomas Hart Benton, UVA American Studies. (Submitted on June 7, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Notable Persons •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 7, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 526 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 7, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.