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Thomas Hart Benton and the Navy

Chrysler Museum of Art, Virginia

19 May - 24 Sep 2017

This exhibition presents an important series of works from the peak years of the artist’s fame and influence. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he used his art to honour American troops and to maintain national morale throughout WWII. With sponsorship from Abbott Laboratories, a leading maker of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, Benton served as a commissioned artist-correspondent in the U.S. Navy, with privileged access to shipyards and submarines. The works in this series are not recreations of famous foreign battles as imagined based on photographs, but images drawn from his firsthand observations. These works demonstrate Benton’s commitment to storytelling and patriotic subjects which remained a driving force throughout his career. Find out more about the Thomas Hart Benton exhibition from the Chrysler Museum of Art’s website.

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Up the Hatch (1944), Thomas Hart Benton. Image courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.

Up the Hatch (1944), Thomas Hart Benton. Image courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.

Coffee and Chow (1944), Thomas Hart Benton. Image courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.

Coffee and Chow (1944), Thomas Hart Benton. Image courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.

Time Out From War (1943), Thomas Hart Benton. Image courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.

Time Out From War (1943), Thomas Hart Benton. Image courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.

Cut the Line (1944), Thomas Hart Benton. Image courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.

Cut the Line (1944), Thomas Hart Benton. Image courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.

Slumber Deep (1944), Thomas Hart Benton. Image courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.

Slumber Deep (1944), Thomas Hart Benton. Image courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.

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