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News Release 045

Contact: Steph Deidrick, 573-751-9392
                steph.deidrick@dnr.mo.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2014 Volume 42-14-045 

Celebrate Benton’s 125th birthday at Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio State Historic Site April 11

Jefferson City, Mo. - The public is invited to kick-off Thomas Hart Benton’s 125th birthday celebration with an open house at the Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio State Historic Site in Kansas City on Friday, April 11. Sponsored by Missouri State Parks, the open house will take place from 5-6 p.m. The highlight of this free event is the exhibition of two rarely-seen original artworks by the artist, who was born 125 years ago on April 15, 1889.

The first is an early, unique piece of art. When Benton was a teenager, he left home to study art in Chicago and Paris. In 1911, at the age of 22, he returned to his family home in Neosho. It was around this time that he painted an abstract design on a silk tablecloth as a gift for his mother, Elizabeth Wise Benton. The colorful 35 x 50” cloth will be on display, along with a photo of the project shortly after it was completed.

The second piece is titled “Landing at Jack’s Fork Current River” and is one of many scenes Benton painted of the Ozark Rivers. Throughout his life, Benton would often return to the area where he was born and raised. He enjoyed wandering the hills, floating the streams and meeting the people. He would often sketch as he went, drawing inspiration for future projects. “Landing at Jack’s Fork Current River” is being loaned to the site by the Benton Testamentary Trust at UMB Bank for this special event.

Much like Benton’s unique approach to his art and life, the events to celebrate his birthday are creative, unusual and fun. Information on additional events can be found online at kansascitymuseum.org/benton.

Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio State Historic Site is located at 3616 Belleview in Kansas City. For more information on the event, call the site at 816-931-5722. For information about state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

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Celebrating 40 years of taking care of Missouri’s natural resources. To learn more visit www.dnr.mo.gov.