About Thomas Hart Benton/The Indiana Murals of Thomas Hart Benton: Visions of the Past, Lessons for the Present, and Treasures for the Future
- Year Released:
- Directed by Ken Burns, Produced by Tim Miller, Ralph Zuzolo
Thomas Hart Benton (1988) Directed by Ken Burns
The Indiana Murals of Thomas Hart Benton: Visions of the Past, Lessons for the Present, and Treasures for the Future (2001) Produced by Tim Miller and Ralph Zuzolo
This documentary double feature highlights the career of American master Thomas Hart Benton. Through home movies and interviews, director Ken Burns takes viewers on a journey through Benton’s life as he traveled away from his home state of Missouri to Chicago, Paris, New York, and back again. While Benton’s mature representational style based on American themes—known as Regionalism—was criticized by some modernists as cartoonish, he embraced its populist appeal and helped to define the predominate artistic style of the 1930s. In the short documentary by Tim Miller and Ralph Zuzolo, the filmmakers focus on a single masterwork: the artist’s monumental Indiana Murals, currently housed in three locations on the Indiana University Bloomington campus. Created 85 years ago for Chicago’s Century of Progress World’s Exposition, the murals’ 22 panels trace the state’s cultural and industrial history from its early native peoples to the Great Depression. Thomas Hart Benton (85 min.) will precede The Indiana Murals of Thomas Hart Benton (41 min.). (Digital/HD Presentation)
Benton’s Indiana Murals in Focus
April 8 – Sunday – 2:00 p.m.
Hall of Murals, IU Auditorium
Nan Brewer, the Eskenazi Museum of Art’s Lucienne M. Glaubinger Curator of Works on Paper, will discuss the murals’ history, organization, and narrative content, as well as the controversies surrounding some of its depictions. We thank the IU Auditorium’s staff for their assistance with this program.