Lot 91

Thomas Hart Benton "Figure Studies for Missouri Mural" Graphite (ca. 1935-36)

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)

Four Studies of Figures, circa 1935-36

Graphite on paper

7" x 9"


Benton scholar Dr. Henry Adams: "This sheet of individual figure studies, probably sketched right on the street, has many stylistic similarities with the previous drawing, but does not attempt to organize the figures into a unified composition. The man carrying a keg provides a clue that this drawing was made for the brewery scene of Benton’s Missouri mural. While the figure with a keg in this sketch does not show up in Benton’s final painting, his cap, and costume are similar to those of the two brewers who do appear. Benton did the research for the panel in St. Louis, where the Anheuser Busch Brewery was located. That must be where this drawing was made."


Matted to 20" x 16".


Good condition, noting a bit of overall toning, and three minor dimples to the sheet.

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.