Lot 42

Thomas Hart Benton "Study for Rice Threshing" Graphite (1945)

Estimate: $1,500 - $2,500
Sold for

Bid Increments

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$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)

Farmer with Combine, Study for "Rice Threshing," 1945

Graphite on paper

8" x 13" (sight)


Benton scholar Dr. Henry Adams: "Once in New Orleans, Benton took advantage of the opportunity to search out new subjects, ranging from oil refineries (portrayed in his painting Catalytic Crackers) to agricultural scenes of rice threshing and harvesting sugar cane. This drawing is a study for his ambitious painting Rice Threshing of 1945. Seventeen years earlier, Benton had sketched the same subject in Louisiana, and he included a scene of rice threshing in the upper left corner of the panel The South in his mural America Today. In the interim, the machinery had slightly modernized, but farmers were still using horse-drawn wagons for hauling."


Initialed lower right. Housed in a glazed frame measuring 17" x 21 1/2".


Good condition, noting some small spots, and wrinkling to the right side of the sheet.

Overall Dimensions
Height: 17.00 in
Width: 21.50 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.