The Strike (1933)
Thomas Hart Benton was born on April 15, 1889 in Neosho, Missouri. He spent most of his childhood in boarding schools and in Washington, D.C. and landed his first job as a cartoonist for the Joplin American in Missouri. Benton studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, resided briefly in Paris and New York City, then settled in Kansas City, working as an instructor of drawing/painting at the Kansas City Art Institute. His most famous pupil was the Abstract Expressionist Jackson Pollock; his well known Nebraska students at the Institute were Aaron Pyle and Bill Hammond.
Benton was part of the Regionalist movement and is well known for his mural paintings that depict commmon everyday scenes of Midwestern life. The figures in his works often appear cartoon-like through the way he distorts the bone and muscular structure of their faces. His most famous murals are located in the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City and in the Truman Library in Independence. Benton died January 19, 1975 in his studio.