Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thomas Hart Benton to Huntington


The Huntington's Art Collectors Council has made another acquisition in advance of the May 30 reopening of the American galleries: Thomas Hart Benton's 1923 Yankee Driver. An early work, it is executed in oil rather than tempera and portrays Billy Benson, a Martha's Vineyard handyman. Benton was the most important Regionalist not represented in the collection. Yankee Driver joins a large 1929 painting, State Fair, by John Steuart Curry and a Grant Wood watercolor, Study for Spring Turning.

In the past couple of years, the Huntington has added paintings by Reginald Marsh, Charles Scheeler, and Sam Francis; sculpture by William Wetmore Story and Harriet Hosmer; a stained-glass window by George Washington Maher. Pictured at right: a 1968 Karl Benjamin abstraction, #4, a gift of Donald M. Treiman.

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