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Image of After Many Days

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Bookmark: https://collection.sdmart.org/objects-1/info/2628

After Many Days

Thomas Hart Benton, American, (April 15, 1889–January 19, 1975)

Creation date: 1940
Creation place: United States

Other Information

Type: Tempera Painting
Medium and Support: Tempera and oil on canvas
Credit Line: Museum purchase through the Earle W. Grant Acquisition Fund
Accession Number: 1975.3
Dimensions: 31 in. x 21 in. (78.74 cm x 53.34 cm)
Currently on view

Provenance

Associated American Artists, Inc., New York, New York ( - May 16, 1973)

Thomas Hart Benton, Kansas City, Missouri (1940 - )

Sotheby's, New York, New York (May 16, 1973 - May 16, 1973)

Graham Gallery, New York, New York (May 16, 1973 - February 4, 1975)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (February 4, 1975 - )

Label Copy

Benton hailed from Missouri and found the heartland of the United States to be his greatest source of inspiration. He studied in Europe and worked in New York, but he grew tired of the New York art scene’s increasing interest in abstraction and rejection of his figural work. Benton became a leading voice advocating Regionalism, in which artists focused on figural representations that documented daily experience. Benton often created images of the American landscape that reinforce the notion of land as a source of fertility, but After Many Days expresses age and even death—the leaves are wilted and a skull figures prominently in the composition. In describing the choices he made for the work, Benton wrote, “Anyhow it is a skull in a setting of autumn weeds which were growing on the edge of our garden here. I suppose I put the horses in it to give it a larger and more animate setting.”

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October 18, 2914
Anita Feldman, Deputy Director of Collections and Exhibitons
Thomas Hart Benton
American • 1889–1975
After Many Days
Tempera and oil on canvas board • 1940
Thomas Hart Benton hailed from Missouri and found the heart- land of the United States to be his greatest source of inspira- tion. He studied in Europe and also worked in New York, but he grew tired of the New York art scene’s increasing interest in abstraction and its rejection of figural work. He became a muralist and was successful both in New York and across the Midwest. While he often created images of the American landscape that reinforced the notion of land as a source of fertility, After Many Days focuses instead on the passing of time and even death—the leaves are wilted and a skull figures prominently in the composition.
Museum purchase through the Earle W. Grant Acquisition Fund 1975.3
Last Updated: 10/20/2014

Exhibition

This object was included in the following exhibitions:

1940–41 Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting Whitney Museum of American Art , 11/27/1940 - 1/8/1941

Looking at America: An Exhibition Featuring Selections from the San Diego Museum Charles H. MacNider Museum , 8/21/1992 - 10/4/1992

Ortra vez Modern and Contemporary The San Diego Museum of Art , 3/30/2013 - 7/14/2013

Art of the 20th Century Rotaton San Diego Museum of Art , 9/25/2013 - 1/8/2014

American: Art of the 20th Century San Diego Museum of Art , 1/18/2014 - 8/26/2014

American Visions: Place and Identity The San Diego Museum of Art , 10/18/2014 - 3/17/2015

Art of the 20th Century , 3/28/2015 - 8/16/2015

American Art The San Diego Museum of Art , 11/26/2016 - 8/15/2021

Art of the Americas The San Diego Museum of Art , 9/7/2021 - 00/00/00

Bibliography

This object has the following bibliographic references:

Mr. Martin E. Petersen. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1993
Page Number: 150

20th Century American Paintings and Sculpture, Sotheby's. New York, New York, May 16, 1973
Page Number: Lot no. 175, Figure Number: 175

1940–41 Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, New York, 1940
Page Number: Cat. no. 6

Southwest Art Art Magazine Publishers. Houston, Texas, December 1975
Page Number: 85, Figure Number: 85

On View Plaistow Publications. London, England, 1976
Page Number: 86

Marks

Signature, Lower right:

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