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Grant number like: FA-51765-05

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Justin Wolff
President and Fellows of Harvard College (Cambridge, MA 02138-3800)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2005 – 7/31/2006

The Most American Artist: A Biography of Thomas Hart Benton

I'm writing a cultural biography of the modern American painter Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) for Farrar, Straus and Giroux. My biography will examine Benton's life and career in the context of cultural and political developments during the first half of the twentieth century. Benton, named after his great-uncle, Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton, was one of the most outspoken and controversial artists of his era. Though he's been caricatured as a "regionalist" painter and political bumpkin, my more objective account will reveal him as a smart and compassionate populist/progressive attuned to national motifs.