Thomas Hart Benton, “Weighing Cotton”

As the first major Regionalist painting to enter the permanent collection, Thomas Hart Benton's Weighing Cottony 1939 (Fig. 1) significantly enhances the Art Gallery's ability to present a balanced view of American art in the years between the Depression and World War Two. A premier example of Benton's Regionalist style, it is one in a series of three agricultural scenes- the others are Cradling Wheat and Roasting Ears (Figs. 2, 3) - in which the artist articulated a personal vision of the American heartland. It was a region that would preoccupy him for the rest of his life.


Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin, (1990), pp. 80-86