Thomas Hart Benton was born on 15 April 1889, in Neosho, MO. Between 1896 and 1904, Benton studied at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington (D.C.), while his father was serving in the House of Representatives. Benton studied at the Art Institute of Chicago for two years before moving to Paris in 1908. In Paris, he studied at the Académies Julian and Colarossi. During the three years he was there, he met Leo Stein, Stanton Macdonald-Wright, John Thompson, George Carlock and Morgan Russell. In 1912 Benton settled in New York. He was included in The Forum Exhibition of Modern American Painters at the Anderson Galleries in 1916. In 1917, Benton exhibited at the Daniel Gallery and became associated with John Weichsel's People's Art Guild. After being discharged from the US Navy in 1919, Benton began making epic historical murals. In 1922, he married Rita Piacenza. After 1926, Benton taught at Bryn Mawr College, Dartmouth College, and at the Art Students League, where his most famous student was Jackson Pollock. Benton painted murals at the New School for Social Research entitled America Today in 1930. Two years later he painted the murals The Arts of Life in America for the library at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Benton travelled extensively during the late 1920s and early 1930s in the southern and western portions of the United States. He published his impressions in An Artist in America in 1937. His daughter, Jessie P. Benton, was born in 1939. One of America's most celebrated "Regionalists", Benton continued to receive commissions through the country including in his home state of Missouri. He painted murals at the Missouri State Capital in Jefferson City and the Truman Library in Independence. Benton died in Kansas City, MO, on 19 January 1975.