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Art + Antiques

Sat, May 4, 2024 11:00AM EDT
Lot 21

Thomas Hart Benton "Study for Still Life with Silver Vase and Banana" Oil (ca. 1962)

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000
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)

Study for Still Life with Silver Vase and Banana, circa 1962

Oil on Windsor & Newton watercolor board 

30" x 22"


Signed to the bottom right corner. This oil was reviewed by Dr. Henry Adams, committee member Thomas Hart Benton Catalogue Raisonné Foundation, who offered the following commentary: "This is a study for Still Life with Silver Vase and Banana. Benton also executed a very similar painting, Still Life with Silver Vase, which is dated 1962, and provides a likely date for the other work still-life, as well as for this oil study. In all these compositions, Benton viewed the table at a perfect right angle, creating a geometric, almost abstract clarity of composition. The formal clarity of the design, however, contrasts with the verisimilitude with which he handled textures, particularly the glossy reflections on the silver vase."


The board is in good condition, noting only slight convex warp toward the edges. There are a number of small paint flakes (apparently the condition as found in the artist’s studio) that have been in-painted, most along the left edge and some in the lower right. The painting was previously coated in an unknown thick clear semigloss layer, which has recently been partially removed: the effect is a blotchy texture across the surface. At some point in the painting’s history, its owner hired an artist to flesh out some detail on the unfinished study; the detail added by another hand was shading on the yellow flower petals, shading on the red flower petals to the right, and shading on the banana. The work is archivally framed by Ward & Ward Custom Framing, the frame is in very good condition.

Overall Dimensions
Height: 30.00
Width: 22.00

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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 A copy of his essay will be provided to all winning bidders.