Lot 30

Thomas Hart Benton "Woodland Stream" Graphite (ca. 1969)

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Thomas Hart Benton

(Missouri, 1889-1975)

Woodland Stream, circa 1969

Graphite on paper

15" x 10 1/4" (sight)


Benton scholar Dr. Henry Adams: "While not identical, this drawing relates closely to the watercolor Paint Mill Brook, Martha’s Vineyard, 1969, and very likely depicts the same location.  While the viewpoint is different, it seems that Benton portrayed some of the same trees and rocks, or at least used very similar shapes in both works.  Benton also made two other versions of Paint Mill Brook, also dating from 1969, both titled Woodland Stream. One of these is a small study in oil on panel, the other a polymer-tempera on paper. This drawing nicely demonstrates Benton’s skill at creating a rhythmic organization from the forms of nature. 'Nature is so different from the studio,' Benton once explained to a reporter, 'both because the light comes from many directions and because the motifs are jumbled together, not neatly selected. The problem is to find the real character of objects when they’re set in a confusion of light.'"


Signed lower right. Housed in a glazed frame measuring 24 1/4" x 18 3/4".


Good condition, noting three creases, all neatly flattened: one along the right of the top edge of the mat window, one angled from the lower right edge, and one to the bottom right corner.

Overall Dimensions
Height: 24.25 in
Width: 18.75 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.