November Museum Events Celebrate American Artist Thomas Hart Benton

Thomas Hart Benton, Going West, Lithograph, 1934-FINALCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 26, 2015 — “Thomas Hart Benton: American Mythologies” opens Nov. 6 in the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

The public is invited to several events in November celebrating Thomas Hart Benton’s life, his work and his impact on the history of American art. The exhibit will remain on display through Jan. 24. Admission to the exhibit and the events are free.

A curator talk will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 5. Dr. Joan Stack, State Historical Society of Missouri’s art curator, will enlighten us with the stories behind the “American Mythologies” exhibit. Attendees will come away with a better understanding of why cowboys and steamboats are such an important element of America’s culture and of Benton, his contributions to American art, and how our mythic history shapes who we are as Americans.

The opening reception will be held 4-8 p.m. Nov. 6.

Thomas Hart Benton Family Day will be held 1-4 p.m. Nov. 14. Hands-on activities will lead participants to create their own images with the artistic style used by Benton. Guided gallery tours will occur hourly. Historical performer Gary Beahan will portray Benton during this entertaining event.

A presentation will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 19. Dr. Frank Nickell, historian and assistant director of The State Historical Society of Missouri, will convey fascinating accounts that create an understanding of Missouri and the culmination of this region’s society in the time of Thomas Hart Benton.

A musical performance is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 20. Dr. Robert Fruehwald, composer and faculty in Southeast’s Department of Music, will provide entertaining works by Missouri composers related to the “American Mythologies” exhibition.

This exhibition showcases 26 of Thomas Hart Benton’s lithographs that explore the mythic West, including subjects such as Jesse James, the writings of Mark Twain and the intersections of American cultural heritage. From cowboys to steam trains, these artworks explore the energy, anxiety and conflicted nature of America’s conception of itself.

This exhibition is organized by The State Historical Society of Missouri with support of its Research Center-Cape Girardeau. Artworks are on loan from the SHSMO Art Collection, Columbia, Missouri. Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

The Crisp Museum is located in the Cultural Arts Center at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus, located at 518 S. Fountain St. in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. For more information, call (573) 651-2260 or email museum@semo.edu.