THOMAS HART BENTON (1889-1975)
THOMAS HART BENTON (1889-1975)
THOMAS HART BENTON (1889-1975)
THOMAS HART BENTON (1889-1975)
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PROPERTY FROM A SOUTHERN ESTATE
THOMAS HART BENTON (1889-1975)

Landscape (Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard)

Details
THOMAS HART BENTON (1889-1975)
Landscape (Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard)
signed 'Benton' (lower right)
oil on canvas
15 3/4 x 17 1/2 in. (40 x 44.5 cm.)
Painted circa 1922-23.
Provenance
Graham Gallery, New York.
Henry de Villiers Williams, Jr., New York, acquired from the above, 1972.
Estate of the above.
Sotheby's, New York, 22 May 1996, lot 150, sold by the above.
Acquired by the late owner from the above.
Further details
This work will be included in the forthcoming Thomas Hart Benton catalogue raisonné being prepared by the Thomas Hart Benton Catalogue Raisonné Foundation. Committee Members: Dr. Henry Adams, Jessie Benton, Anthony Benton Gude, Andrew Thompson and Michael Owen.

Brought to you by

Tylee Abbott
Tylee Abbott Vice President, Head of American Art

Lot Essay

Thomas Hart Benton first sought refuge from the sweltering summer days of New York on Martha’s Vineyard in 1920. Sparsely populated at the time of his first visit—well before it became a popular vacation destination—the island provided new clarity with which Benton developed his singular artistic language. As the artist himself reported, “Martha’s Vineyard had a profound effect on me. The relaxing sea air, the hot sand on the beaches where we loafed naked, the great and continuous drone of the surf, broke down most of the tenseness which life in the cities had given me…It freed my art from the dominance of narrow urban conceptions and put me in a psychological condition to face America.” (P. Burroughs, Thomas Hart Benton: A Portrait, Garden City, New York, 1981, p. 100) As apparent in his early Vineyard landscapes, such as The Cliffs (1921, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.) and the present work, Benton vacillated between varying degrees of abstraction and realism in depicting this new locale. The artist would continuously return to Martha’s Vineyard throughout his career, eventually purchasing a cottage in the area of Chilmark, with his island scenes always maintaining a place of prominence in his career.

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