Thomas Benton and America Today Jackson federman

What was Thomas Benton striving to portray when he created his America Today painting?

Who was Thomas Benton?

He was a renowned regaionalist artist. He used his art as a way of showing what it was like as an American in the 1920s and 30s.

A mural form America Today

As a kid Thomas grew up in a wealthy family of politicians in Missouri. As a boy we was often shipped across the country by his father to attend Military Academy's. His constant travels in could have effected his art in later years.

As he grew older Thomas a rebelled against his father and decided to pursue an art profession. Then, with his mothers support, Thomas moved to Chicago where he attended the art institute. He got his first job as a cartoonist.

A few years later Thomas moved to Paris to study his profession abroad. When in Paris, he met a women named Rita Piacenza. The two fell and love and married.

Thomas then moved to New York and served time in the Navy. Fighting in the war had a lasting effect on his style of art. It emphasized his use of realism.

Exampled of his work in war...

After, he returned to New York Benton declared himself as an Enemy to Modernism, a regionalistic artist depicting scenes of realism through the country) , and active leftist politics (supported social equality).

These new ideals with Benton eventually inspired his America Today painting.

America Today is a mural that consists of ten canvas panels. It depicts what he perceived what America was like in different regions.

This depicts the excitement of New York. Shows Flappers, Boxing, Music, crowded parks and subways.
This shows the industry business of the north. Hard workers, big industrial cities and factories
Depict the more rural areas of America. Farmers, cropping, flat plains
Wealthy areas and cities. Jazz in roaring 20s, theaters, bars, circus, lots of entertainment available at the time.
Transportation and advancement in machinery. Trains, Planes, Blimp,
Work on costal region.
Blue collar workers. Industries, mines, metal work
Western regions in America. Shanty town and farmland. Also further development in technology.
Different jobs available. Many, black and white were working prior the the drepession.
The final portrait includes the outstretched hand of the people effected in The Great Depression.

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