Lot 5

Thomas Hart Benton "New York Rooftops" Watercolor (ca. 1918-20)

Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
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)

New York Rooftops, circa 1918-20

Watercolor on paper

14 1/2" x 8"


Benton scholar Dr. Henry Adams offered this commentary: "This was probably made shortly after Benton left the Navy and returned to New York City. A similar scene of New York Rooftops, oil on board, traditionally dated circa 1920-23, was in the collection of Benton’s friend Dr. Alfred Raabe, a socially-minded doctor who supported Benton early in his career, along with other notable artists such as William Zorach, Jerome Myers, Preston Dickinson, and the Soyer brothers. By about 1924 Benton had begun to make somewhat more realistic drawings of New York buildings and building construction."


Initialed to the lower right, signed to the reverse. Housed in a fine glazed frame measuring 25" x 17".


Very good, noting only a few very faint spots along the bottom edge. Minor wear to the edges of the frame.

Overall Dimensions
Height: 25.00 in
Width: 17.00 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.