Lot 93

Thomas Hart Benton "Study for the Joplin Mural" Graphite (1972)

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)

Study for "Joplin at the Turn of the Century," 1972

Graphite on paperboard

6" x 9"


Benton scholar Dr. Henry Adams: "This is an early study for Benton’s Joplin mural [Baigell 131]. Benton is the figure seated at a writing desk; to his right are two card players, Joplin realtor Rolla F. Stephens and Benton’s friend Merle Walsh. The horse in the background pulls a cart in the final mural. Benton may have made this sketch while making the clay model, reproduced by Baigell in his monograph on Benton, which closely resembles this design."


Matted to 16" x 20".


Staining across the sheet, presumably from Benton's clay model.

Overall Dimensions
Height: 16.00 in
Width: 20.00 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.