New Work From Kansas City Master Painter Thomas Hart Benton Now Auctioned Online
Family estate sale puts a Kansas City cultural classic up for sale on the Internets . . .
Art Daily: Fresh to the market painting by Thomas Hart Benton included in online-only auction
Thanks to a TKC Reader art fan for sending this one our way . . .
"I'm shocked that a painting or drawing of Thomas Hart Benton will be going up for sale on auction. I would think every one of them by now is in a museum."
Deets for those with the cash to put in a bid:
A painting by the renowned Missouri-born artist Thomas Hart Benton (Am., 1889-1975) is the expected headliner in an online-only auction being held by KC Auction & Appraisal Company, based in Kansas City. The auction is already up and online and will end on Monday, December 12th, at 7 pm Central time. Bidders can log on now, at www.kcauctioncompany.com.
The painting comes with an impeccable, rock-solid provenance. The young man depicted in the foreground is Randall Jessee, who happens to be the consignor. The Jessees were neighbors of the Bentons for a few years and the painting was done during that time, around 1967-1968. It’s a diminutive work – 8 ½ inches by 6 ½ inches, less the frame – and it is artist-signed lower left.
More on the painting: it has a Maryland frame shop label on the reverse, because the Jessees moved to Maryland shortly afterward. The woman on the dock is Rita Benton, Thomas’s wife, and the young man is Randall Jessee’s brother. The truck near the barn was Randall’s at the time. The painting has been in the Jessee family since it was done and has never been offered for sale.
The drawing depicts one of the luaus the Jessees held in their yard each year. Benton drew the piece, taking liberties with reality: the singer at the microphone is Randall, Sr. (the consignor’s father), but instead of legs and feet Benton drew dogs’ legs and feet. The stand-up bass player, Dave Ruf (of The Westport Kids), was given breasts. Benton signed the whimsical drawing.
Developing . . .