A Lecture by Scholar Henry Adams
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At first glance the drip paintings of Jackson Pollock appear to be the polar opposite of Thomas Hart Benton’s murals. Yet the two artists had a close and intense relationship dating from Pollock’s earliest days in New York, when Benton, then one of the most famous artists in America, took the young man under his wing. Indeed, Benton gave Pollock the only formal training he ever had, and in a disturbing oedipal twist, Pollock even fell in love with Benton’s wife. In a story full of surprises, Henry Adams will explore the intense and sometimes turbulent relationship of the two men. He will also trace the evolution of their art--from Benton’s early adventures as a modernist in Gertrude Stein’s Paris, to Pollock’s ultimate triumph as the leader of the Abstract Expressionists.
Lecturer Henry Adams holds a PhD in Art History from Yale University and is Professor of American Art at Case Western Reserve University. He has also worked as a curator and museum director at institutions such as the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Art, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. He has spoken extensively at museums and colleges around the country and has written numerous books and articles, most recently, Tom and Jack, the subject of this lecture. In 2010, Adams gave the annual Wyeth Day lecture entitled Andrew Wyeth, King Vidor, and The Big Parade.