Electronic Cataloging Project Entry #21

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Electronic Cataloging Project Entry #21

April 29, 2011

While going through the various files related toThomas Hart Benton, I came across a treasure trove of handwritten correspondence from him. In a letter to Reynolda House's founding president Barbara B. Millhouse from October 20, 1971, Benton discussed his paintingBootleggers, 1927 (1971.2.1):


'Bootleggers' or 'Prohibition Days' – (a later title) is my first entrance into painting 'history, which was not history when it was painted but became history with its passage of time' I'm quoting here—but I don't remember who I'm quoting.

Anyhow the picture you have, represents my first shift into a muralistic style which aimed at 'containing' the life of my time 'The American Life'—I should say. It is the predecessor of all the later muralistic paintings on American Life as we experience it.




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