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Flatiron Hot! News | July 24, 2017

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Benton’s Epic Mural “America Today” Installed at the Met – A Must-See!

Benton’s Epic Mural “America Today” Installed at the Met – A Must-See!
Tod Shapiro

IMG_3604By Tod Shapiro and the Flatiron Hot! News Editorial Staff

Flatiron and Chelsea art lovers should hop on the 4, 5 or 6 train and head straight up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where Thomas Hart Benton’s epic mural history of our country, “America Today”, has found a new permanent home. The terrific exhibit, complete with an instructional film, on-point explanations and historical and artistic references, includes a whole room devoted to Benton’s background and formative work and research in doing his mural masterwork.  As you will see and learn, the mural is beautifully laid out in a recreated  facsimile of the board room at the New School for Social Research that was the original home of this trend-setting masterpiece when it was painted in the early 1930s.  One can learn everything that one needs to know to understand this groundbreaking work that set the standard for murals as an art form in this century, and then appreciate it as its creator originally intended it to be seen, with wonderful placards and notations explaining the action-packed mural.   Indeed, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the Met for procuring this seminal exposition of American art and keeping it together as a complete work, as a failure to do so might have led the masterpiece to be broken up and sold piecemeal to art collectors around the world.