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Ozark Autumn

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Image of Ozark Autumn

Thomas Hart Benton
American, 1889–1975

Ozark Autumn

1949

Object Type: Painting
Creation Place: North America, American, Missouri
Dimensions:
20 7/8 x 32 1/8 in. (53.02 x 81.6 cm)
Medium and Support: Oil and tempera on wood panel
Accession Number: 2015.0006

Credit Line: Gift of the Ida Belle Young Art Acquisition Fund

Currently On View
Copyright: © T.H. Benton and R.P. Benton Testamentary Trusts / UMB Bank Trustee / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY


Thomas Hart Benton made a practice of traveling around the U.S., particularly through the Southern and Midwestern regions in the late 1920s and 1930s, producing drawings of the places and people he saw. Through his art, he sought to capture what he felt was the character of the land and its people. He saw a society grounded in an appreciation for freedom, democracy, personal accountability, pragmatism, and hard work. "Ozark Autumn" was painted literally in the "autumn" of the artist's career—an elegaic, landscape-based tribute to a great country founded in these principals. In later paintings such as "Ozark Autumn" he references traditional Old Master European painting styles, using great, sweeping brushstrokes to model his forms and unify his composition, conveying a sense of rolling hills, cloud-studded skies, while integrating the almost sculptural forms of the landscape itself and the figures. He began imparting to his work a greater sense of grandeur and a less frenetic pace, as the artist relished his own memories of a simpler time in American life and paid it homage, grounding his art and this work in the country’s agrarian past.

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