Lot 56

Thomas Hart Benton "Church on a Hill" Graphite (ca. 1930s)

Estimate: $1,500 - $2,500
Sold for

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$5,000 $250
$10,000 $500
$20,000 $1,000
$50,000 $2,500
$75,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

Thomas Hart Benton

(Missouri, 1889-1975)

Church on a Hill, circa 1930s

Graphite on Paper

6 3/4" x 8 3/4" (sight)


Benton scholar Dr. Henry Adams offered these comments: "Benton sketched and painted churches of this type throughout the 1930s. The building brings to mind the church that appears in the background of the Arts of the South panel in Benton’s Whitney mural of 1933, now in the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut. A somewhat similar church also appears in his 1939 lithograph Sunday Morning, which was based on a drawing made in south Arkansas in 1938. The style of the sketch resembles Benton’s travel drawings from 1928 as well as those from the early 1930s."


Housed in a glazed frame measuring 22" x 18".


Good condition, noting some overall toning to the sheet. There is a very slight flattened crease to the sheet in the bottom right.

Overall Dimensions
Height: 22.00 in
Width: 18.00 in
Depth: 1.50 in

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Acquired by Vincent and Leah Campanella directly from Thomas and Rita Benton over the course of their 25 year friendship. A portion of the collection was given to the Campanellas by Rita in 1975 as compensation for Vincent completing "The Sources of Country Music," the mural left unfinished when Tom passed away in 1975. Vincent Campanella was later prominently featured in the Ken Burns documentary Thomas Hart Benton (1988). In 2001, the Campanella family sold the collection to the current owner, a private Kansas City collector.

Benton scholar and author, Dr. Henry Adams, has authenticated the entire collection in person. You can find his essay documenting the 25 year tumultuous friendship of Vincent and Thomas and the origins of the collection at Circle-Auction.com. A copy of his essay will be provided to all winning bidders.