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Grant number: GE-50590-12

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Museum Associates (Los Angeles, CA 90036-4504)
Austen Barron Bailly (Project Director: August 2011 to present)

Benton, Hollywood, and History

Planning for a traveling exhibition, a catalog, and public programs on American artist Thomas Hart Benton and how his history paintings and narrative art were influenced by popular Hollywood film.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art requests a $40,000 planning grant from the NEH to support the planning and development of "Benton, Hollywood and History"(working title), an exhibition which will be co-organized with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (the largest public collection of Thomas Hart Benton's art). The exhibition will be the first to examine the visual strategies and process Benton used to become the twentieth century's preeminent American history painter. The first survey of Benton's art in 25 years, the exhibition will present to the public the predominant American cultural and historical themes Benton employed in his art, including: American history, typing and stereotyping American character and identity, race in America, Hollywood, Broadway and performance, the American west, issues of accessibility and audience, and public art. An NEH planning grant will be used to convene an advisory group of scholars to advise the curatorial team in shaping these themes and more.

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism

America's Historical and Cultural Organizations: Planning Grants

Public Programs

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2012 – 4/30/2013