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Biographies Unit Biographies

Thomas Hart Benton 1889–1975
American Painter

Thomas Hart Benton liked to draw when he was a boy growing up in Missouri. As a teenager, he went to Chicago, Illinois, to study art. After that, Benton studied painting in France.

When he returned to the United States, Benton began to make paintings that showed everyday life in our country. He made paintings that showed American workers such as coal miners and farmers. Benton's paintings also showed events that were happening at the time, such as war.

Benton is known for the many different murals he painted. A mural is a large picture painted on a wall or a ceiling. People today can still see his murals and paintings in cities such as Jefferson City, Missouri.

Comprehension Check

What did Thomas Hart Benton do first?

Critical Thinking

People can see Benton's paintings in museums across the United States. What can you tell about Benton from that sentence?