Saturday, 29 October 2011

Thomas Hart Benton - part 4 WWII

This is part four of a four-part post on the works of American 'Regionalist' artist Thomas Hart Benton. For biographical notes on Benton see part one.

US Navy Art Collection:
Benton was deeply moved by the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941, and shortly thereafter he completed "The Year of Peril," a series of grim and powerful war paintings financed by Abbott Laboratories. In 1943 he collaborated with Georges Schreiber in producing the Abbott Collection of Submarine Paintings, a project largely executed aboard the American submarine Dorado, which was later lost in action with all hands.

Later in the war, classified as a "camoufleur," Benton had to draw camouflaged ships that came into Norfolk harbour. His work was required for several reasons: to ensure that U.S. ship painters were correctly applying the camouflage schemes, to aid in identifying U.S. ships that might later be lost, and to have records of the ship camouflage of other Allied navies. Benton later said that his work for the Navy "was the most important thing, so far, I had ever done for myself as an artist."


(not dated) Barroom 
pen and ink with brown wash

1942 WWII Shipping Out

1943 Down the Lower Mississippi 
pen and ink wash

1943 Score Another for the Subs 
oil on board

c1943 All Work 
pen and ink wash

c1943 Loading the LST 
pen and ink wash

c1943 Look Out Below 
pen and ink wash

c1943 Preliminary Shake Down, New Orleans 
pen and ink wash

c1943 Salt and Steel 
pen and ink wash

c1943 This Way In 
pen and ink wash

1944 She's Off 
watercolour

1944 Stow Her Away Mates 
pen and ink wash

1944 WWII Back Him Up

c1944 War Isn't All Mechanised 
pen and ink

c1944 Battle Stations Submerged 
ink wash

c1944 Bow Up 
pen and ink wash

c1944 Coffee and Chow 
pen and ink wash

c1944 Note Well 
pen and ink wash

c1944 On the Old Ohio 
pen and ink wash

c1944 (Unknown) 
pen and ink wash

c1944 Slumber Deep 
watercolour

c1944 Stern Task 
pen and ink wash

c1944 This Way Out 
pen and ink wash

c1944 Up Periscope 
oil on canvas

c1944 Up the Hatch 
oil on pressboard

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