July Hay

Thomas Hart Benton American

Not on view

Throughout the 1930s and into the 1940s, Benton, who left New York in 1935 and settled in Kansas City, Missouri, became closely associated with a movement known as Regionalism, which exalted rural America and tended to disregard contemporary abstract art. Showing two harvesters using old-fashioned scythes to harvest a bumper crop, the painting exhibits the swirling integration of the figure and environment for which the artist is best-known. Benton’s harvesting subject and intense attention to detail recall works by the 16th-century Flemish painter Jan Brueghel, even as it resonated with the sentiment popular throughout World War II (U.S. involvement from 1941 to 1945) that the nation’s farmers were warriors on the home front.

#1940. July Hay

July Hay, Thomas Hart Benton (American, Neosho, Missouri 1889–1975 Kansas City, Missouri), Egg tempera, methyl cellulose, and oil on Masonite

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