Lot 59

Thomas Hart Benton "Tent Interior, Missouri Flood" Graphite (ca. 1937)

Estimate: $400 - $800
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)

Tent Interior Sketch, Missouri Flood, circa 1937

Graphite on paper

8 3/4" x 11 1/4"


Benton scholar Dr. Henry Adams: "Immediately after completing his Missouri mural, Benton took on several assignments as an artist-reporter. The first of these was a commission from The Kansas City Star to make drawings of the Mississippi and Missouri River floods that devastated Southwestern Missouri in February of 1937. The Kansas City Star published six of his sketches on Valentine’s Day that year. This sketch records a tent for refugees from the flood. 'I have just returned from a flood-stricken area in southwest Missouri and upper Arkansas,' Benton wrote at the time. 'Description can give no sense of the dreary realities of flood misery—the cold mud, the lost goods, the homeless animals, the dreary standing around of destitute people.'"


Matted to 16" x 20".


There are dog-ear creases to the bottom corners. Minor smudging. Faint foxing and a few scattered specks.

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.