Charles Kessler blogs about Thomas Hart Benton's America Today Mural Rediscovered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, on view through April 19, 2015.
Kessler writes: "I always had a hard time with Benton. I loved Abstract Expressionism and, as if I couldn't like them both, I considered Benton's work to be hokey and aesthetically retrograde. Well this exhibition turned me around. These murals are bold, passionate, often funny and downright beautiful... In addition to the mural in its re-created original setting, the show includes preparatory drawings and studies for the mural (the guy can draw!); and, from the Met's collection, a selection of work from the circle of artists around Brenton, including photographs by Berenice Abbott, an abstract painting by the Synchromist Stanton MacDonald-Wright and, most notably, a painting by one of Benton's students (who posed for some of the figures in this mural), Jackson Pollock."