Thomas Hart Benton and the Thresholds of Expression

Thomas Hart Benton, "Spring on the Missouri," 1945, oil and tempera on masonite, 30 1/4 x 40 1/4 in., North Carolina Museum of Art

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Thomas Hart Benton and the Thresholds of Expression

by Robert Morgan
Southern Cultures, Vol. 3, No. 2: Summer 1997

"But perhaps the greatest discovery for me was the city of Raleigh itself."

In 1962 I entered North Carolina State in engineering. I had attended Emory College at Oxford, Georgia, for one year, but since I did not have a high school diploma, State ranked me as a freshman. I was a farm boy from the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Raleigh was the first city I had lived in. I belonged to the generation that had been told to study engineering to “beat the Russians.” In the aftermath of the first sputnik the cold war seemed far from won.