Lot 36

Thomas Hart Benton "Circus Scene with Horse and Rider" Graphite (ca. 1930)

Estimate: $1,000 - $2,000
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)

Circus Scene with Horse and Rider, circa 1930

Graphite on paper

10 1/2" x 8 1/2"


Benton scholar Dr. Henry Adams: "The style of this work recalls that of Benton’s Sparrow’s Point steel mill drawings of 1930. Benton may have been influenced to explore circus subjects by his friend John Steuart Curry, who traveled with the circus around 1929 and subsequently made a number of interesting circus paintings and prints. So far as is known, Benton never made a circus painting, although he included a burlesque clown at the upper left of City Activities with Subway, one of the panels of his mural America Today of 1930."


Matted to 20" x 16".


Very good condition. Mild tape stain slightly inside the right bottom edge of the mat window, and a minor stain near the lower right edge.

Overall Dimensions
Height: 20.00 in
Width: 16.00 in
Depth: 0.50 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.