DescriptionThomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975)
Portrait of a Navajo Man
Ink, pencil, and sepia wash on paper
11-1/4 x 8-1/4 inches (28.6 x 21.0 cm) (sight)
Signed lower center: Benton
Mrs. Rothman, gift from the above;
ACA Galleries, New York;
Private collection, Georgia.
This is a very good example of the type of drawing Benton produced in 1926 and 1928 on trips around the U.S. Some of these drawings made their way into An Artist in America. Benton laid in a watercolor wash over his pencil drawing, then traced the pencil in ink to prevent smudging. He made these works on the road, and the ink was insurance that they would not be obliterated by rubbing.
In a letter accompanying the present work and dated July 7, 1966, the artist states:
Dear Mrs. Rothman -
I am very pleased that you find my drawings interesting. I think sometime that perhaps my drawings are the best things I do. It has often said that you can best find an artist in his most direct work - and that is, of course, his drawings. There is, today, a revived interest everywhere in drawings. That is possibly, because there is so little of it done. The new art movements have not yet been able to produce any, so people are going back to the "Old Fellers" like me. "Let 'em keep it up" I say.
Thomas Hart Benton
Light overall paper toning with faint matburn; a couple soft handling creases; framed under glass. Framed Dimensions 19 X 15 Inches
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