Lot 25

Thomas Hart Benton "Two Studies of a Keelboat" Graphite (ca. 1946)

Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
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)

Two Studies of a Keelboat, circa 1946

Graphite on paper

9 1/4" x 13"


Inscribed "June 3 to 11, 1805 at Marias River," an apparent reference to Lewis and Clark's Expedition of the Missouri River, which briefly diverted to that tributary. The keelboat depicted is likely a sketch of the Keelboat Mandan in Fort Benton, Montana. Fort Benton, just south of the Marias River, was an early Montana fur trading post once known as "the last stop of the Missouri River," and was named after Missouri senator Thomas Hart Benton. The eponymous artist, descended from the senator, was an honored guest in Fort Benton's centennial celebration in 1946.


Matted to 16" x 20".


There is a horizontal crease along the top of the sheet, along which is an abrasion with corresponding pinhole. Mild wrinkling to the right edge of the sheet. Stain spot with stain reduction to the right of the lower keelboat study.

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.