Lot 44

Thomas Hart Benton "Flatbed Pickup" Graphite (1928)

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)

Drawing of a Flatbed Pickup, circa 1928

Graphite on paper

10 3/4" x 14 1/2"


Benton scholar Dr. Henry Adams: "This drawing must have been made during Benton’s cross-country sketching trip in 1928. Two years later, Benton parked the Ford Flatbed pickup it portrays in his mural America Today, on the left-hand side of the scene recording The Changing West. Dating from the early 1920s, the car was already somewhat out of style, in keeping with the somewhat dilapidated appearance of the other machinery in the painting. No statement exists to indicate where the drawing was made, although the scene of the mural in which it appears, with its prominent grain elevator, clearly portrays the wheat lands of the central Midwest, somewhere between Topeka and Chicago. Benton probably passed through this region at the end of his 1928 trip, on his return to New York from New Mexico and Texas."


Housed in a glazed frame measuring 18 3/4" x 22 3/4".


Fair condition. There is a crease to the bottom right and scattered wrinkling from handling. Some smudging and minor stains across the sheet.

Overall Dimensions
Height: 18.75 in
Width: 22.75 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.