The U.S. Scene: Thomas Hart Benton and American Regionalism

Lot 367: a Self-Portrait of Thomas Hart Benton.

Our September 23 auction offers a particularly strong selection of American Regionalist examples including an extensive collection of Thomas Hart Benton lithographs. Benton, dedicated to naturalistic and representational work, created 93 lithographs of primarily rural subjects, which were mostly sold through Associated American Artists in New York for for about $5 each.

Lot 378: Benton’s Wreck of the Ol’ 97.

Coming up for auction are The Race, 1942, based on the same-titled oil painting of a lone horse racing a steam engine across a barren Midwestern prairie; Wreck of the Ol’ 97, 1944, depicting the derailment of the Southern Railway locomotive while en route from Monroe, Virginia, to Spencer, North Carolina, in September of 1903; as well as drawings by Benton, including a Self-Portrait, lithographic crayon on paper, circa 1940, a gift from the artist to writer Selden Rodman, whom he knew from summers on Martha’s Vineyard–Benton contributed several articles to a magazine Rodman edited called Common Sense.

Lot 388: John Steuart Curry’s John Brown.

Additional Regionalist works include John Steuart Curry’s lithograph portrait of abolitionist John Brown, 1939and Grant Wood’s Approaching Storm, lithograph, 1940.

Lot 381: Grant Wood’s Approaching Storm