Memphis Brooks Museum of Art


Memphis, Tennessee


(901) 722-3500




Lasting Impressions: Drawings by

Thomas Hart Benton


February 1 - March 29, 1998




Camp Under White Cliff, Upper Missouri, 1965


Benton could paint hillbillies and city slickers, old crumbling farms, the mines and steel mills, because he had gone out to see and draw them. Benton was often reluctant to part with his drawings, for he constantly referred to them as raw material for his paintings. Some of his paintings were based on sketches he had produced twenty years or more prior. Consequently at the time of his death in Kansas City at the age of 86, some 1,900 drawings remained in his studio. It is from this rich legacy of work that these sixty-six works were chosen. Henry Adams, Guest Curator for this exhibition, has written an insightful essay which poses the question, "Did Benton draw well?" The viewer will be able to respond to this question after viewing the diverse body of work as seen in Lasting Impressions.

Camp Wagon High Country Valley, c. 1964

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Images and text courtesy of Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

Photography of art objects by Chris Kilmer.

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