Lot 99

Thomas Hart Benton "Figures on a Street Corner" Graphite (ca. 1935-36)

Estimate: $500 - $1,000
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)

Figures on a Street Corner, circa 1935-36

Graphite on paper

11 1/2" x 8 1/2"


Benton scholar Dr. Henry Adams: "This scene of men lounging near derelict buildings, while a woman strolls past them, may be an early rough sketch for the last predella panel of Benton’s Missouri mural, which shows bums loitering by a trash can while an African-American woman gathers coal from the railroad tracks. Since this drawing seems to relate to the sketch, Four Studies of Figures, it was probably made in St. Louis."


Matted to 20" x 16".


Overall darkening to the sheet from age. There is mat burn to the lower third of the sheet, a bit darker along the bottom edge. Stain in the bottom left corner, small tear at the left edge, and partial pinhole to the center of the composition (between the third and fourth figures, starting from the left). 

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.