Sketches from Thomas Hart Benton fetch good prices

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 | 11:57 a.m. CST

KANSAS CITY — A dozen pencil drawings from Kansas City artist Thomas Hart Benton drew strong bids during an auction, and some of the sketches will remain in Kansas City.

Benton made the drawings before completing the "Achelous and Hercules" mural that currently hangs at the Smithsonian Institution.

The Kansas City Star reports that the sketches sold at a Saturday auction for more than $59,000. And at least half of the works were purchased by buyers who will donate them to Kansas City institutions. Five will go to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and one will be featured at the Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio Historical Site in Kansas City.

The previously unknown sketches were part of the estate of Patricia George, a fashion illustrator at Harzfeld's, the downtown Kansas City store where the mural hung for decades.




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