Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Cotton Pickers, Georgia

Artist:
Thomas Hart Benton (American, Neosho, Missouri 1889–1975 Kansas City, Missouri)
Date:
1928–29
Medium:
Tempera and oil on canvas
Dimensions:
30 × 35 7/8 in. (76.2 × 91.1 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
George A. Hearn Fund, 1933
Accession Number:
33.144.2
Not on view
Benton painted Cotton Pickers, Georgia from studies that he made during a trip through Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia in the summer and fall of 1926. The artist returned to this same group of studies in conceiving and executing the America Today panel Deep South. Activated by passages of frenetic brushwork and rich color, Cotton Pickers, Georgia retains much of the sketchy quality of Benton’s drawings, but it also exhibits the painter’s interest in rendering workers heroically. The artist recalled that his experience in the South "was the beginning of what came to be called my ‘Regionalism.'"
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Benton
[Ferargil Galleries, New York, until 1933; sold to MMA]

New York. Delphic Studios. "Recent Paintings by Thomas H. Benton," March 3–25, 1930, no. 6.

Saint Louis. City Art Museum. "Twenty-sixth Annual Exhibition of Paintings by American Artists," September 19–November 1, 1931, no. 3 (as "Cotton Pickers") [possibly withdrawn early for Exh. Chicago 1931].

Art Institute of Chicago. "American Paintings and Sculpture: Forty-Fourth Annual Exhibition," October 29–December 13, 1931, no. 14.

Salt Lake City. Centennial Gallery, Centennial Exposition, Utah State Fair Grounds. "One Hundred Years of American Painting from the Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City," July 1–29, 1947, no. 55.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Three Centuries of American Painting," April 9–October 17, 1965, unnum. checklist.

New Brunswick, N. J. University Art Gallery, Rutgers. "Thomas Hart Benton: A Retrospective of His Early Years, 1907–1929," November 19–December 30, 1972, no. 66.

Berlin. Akademie der Künste. "Amerika: Traum und Depression 1920/40," November 9–December 28, 1980, no. 15.

Kunstverein Hamburg die Ausstellung. "Amerika: Traum und Depression 1920/40," January 11–February 15, 1981, no. 15.

Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. "Profil du Metropolitan Museum of Art de New York: de Ramsès à Picasso," May 15–September 1, 1981, no. 217.

Kansas City, Mo. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. "Thomas Hart Benton: An American Original," April 16–June 18, 1989, unnumbered cat. (p. 135; as "Cotton Pickers [Georgia]")).

Detroit Institute of Arts. "Thomas Hart Benton: An American Original," August 4–October 15, 1989, unnumbered cat.

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Thomas Hart Benton: An American Original," November 17, 1989–February 11, 1990, unnumbered cat.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Thomas Hart Benton: An American Original," April 29–July 22, 1990, unnumbered cat.

Tulsa, Okla. Philbrook Museum of Art. "The Landscape in Twentieth-Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 14–June 9, 1991, no. 20.

Miami. Center for the Fine Arts. "The Landscape in Twentieth-Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 29–August 24, 1991, no. 20.

Omaha. Joslyn Art Museum. "The Landscape in Twentieth-Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 14–November 10, 1991, no. 20.

Tampa Museum of Art. "The Landscape in Twentieth-Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," December 14, 1991–February 8, 1992, no. 20.

Greenville, S. C. Greenville County Museum of Art. "The Landscape in Twentieth-Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 17–May 10, 1992, no. 20.

Madison, Wisc. Madison Art Center. "The Landscape in Twentieth-Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 6–August 2, 1992, no. 20.

Grand Rapids, Mich. Grand Rapids Art Museum. "The Landscape in Twentieth-Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 11–November 8, 1992, no. 20.

Mobile, Ala. Fine Arts Museum of the South. "Modernism and American Painting of the 1930s," February 12–March 28, 1993, unnumbered cat. (p. 8).

Roslyn Harbor, N. Y. Nassau County Museum of Art. "American Realism Between the Wars, 1919 to 1941," April 10–June 5, 1994, no. 13.

Albany. New York State Museum. "Twentieth-Century American Landscapes from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 29–November 4, 2001, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Thomas Hart Benton’s 'America Today' Mural Rediscovered," September 30, 2014–April 19, 2015, no catalogue (see MMA Bulletin 72, Winter 2015).

"Exhibitions in the New York Galleries: Thomas Hart Benton. Violet Mege. Delphic Galleries." Art News 28 (March 15, 1930), p. 17.

"New York Season." Art Digest 4 (March 15, 1930), p. 16.

Arthur Stanley Riggs. "The Pennsylvania Academy's 126th Annual." Art and Archaeology 31 (March 1931), ill. p. 164.

Henry Geldzahler. American Painting in the Twentieth Century. New York, 1965, p. 92, ill.

Matthew Baigell. Thomas Hart Benton. New York, [1974], pl. 60.

William S. Lieberman in Profil du Metropolitan Museum of Art de New York: de Ramsès à Picasso. Exh. cat., Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Bordeaux, 1981, pp. 167–68, no. 217, ill., calls it "Cueillette du coton en Georgie".

Mary Schmidt Campbell in Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America. Exh. cat., Studio Museum in Harlem. New York, 1987, p. 52, fig. 15.

Randall R. Griffey and Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser in "Thomas Hart Benton's 'America Today'." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 72 (Winter 2015), p. 9, fig. 6 (color).

Stephanie L. Herdrich in "Thomas Hart Benton's 'America Today'." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 72 (Winter 2015), p. 26.



Related Objects

Slow Train Through Arkansas

Artist: Thomas Hart Benton (American, Neosho, Missouri 1889–1975 Kansas City, Missouri) Date: 1941 Medium: Lithograph Accession: 62.695.11 On view in:Not on view

Shallow Creek

Artist: Thomas Hart Benton (American, Neosho, Missouri 1889–1975 Kansas City, Missouri) Date: 1939 Medium: Lithograph Accession: 40.19 On view in:Not on view

Investigation

Artist: Thomas Hart Benton (American, Neosho, Missouri 1889–1975 Kansas City, Missouri) Date: 1937 Medium: Lithograph Accession: 40.88.4 On view in:Not on view

Morning Train

Artist: Thomas Hart Benton (American, Neosho, Missouri 1889–1975 Kansas City, Missouri) Date: 1943 Medium: Lithograph Accession: 62.695.10 On view in:Not on view

The Farmer's Daughter

Artist: Thomas Hart Benton (American, Neosho, Missouri 1889–1975 Kansas City, Missouri) Date: 1944 Medium: Lithograph Accession: 62.695.8 On view in:Not on view