Thomas Hart Benton Paints the Ozarks
No artist captured the people and landscape of early 20th-century Missouri more than native son Thomas Hart Benton. As a child growing up in southwest Missouri, and later as an adult, he hiked the Ozarks’ hills and valleys and floated its rivers. Benton’s travels throughout the region are reflected in many of his paintings and writings. He particularly captured the unique character and rustic lifestyle of Ozarks residents living in relative isolation in the 1930s.
Steve Sitton, administrator of the Thomas Hart Benton Home & Studio State Historic Site in Kansas City, Missouri, examines works inspired by Benton’s experiences in the Ozarks and highlights a 1971 Environmental Protection Agency film, A Man and a River. It focuses on one of Benton's many float trips on the Buffalo River in Arkansas.