Art Inspired: Self Portrait with Rita by Thomas Hart Benton

I couldn’t resist chosing this Benton painting with it’s black and white bathing suits for this week’s Art Inspired Fashion post. Painted in 1922 a decade before he broke into the mainstream with his controversial mural of the Ku Klux Klan, this self-portrait of painter Thomas Hart Benton with his wife Rita in Martha’s Vineyard, now hangs at The Smithonian Institution. For Benton, summers in Martha’s Vineyard allowed him to turn away from the European influence of modernist abstraction and create his own representational style.

In the 30s Benton become America’s foremost Regionalist painter, a movement that romanticized local and small town american themes–his work graced the cover of Time Magazine and he was commissioned to paint murals for the Whitney and other significant museums. Benton also taught art to many students who went on to become famous in their own right, including Jackson Pollock, who said Benton’s traditional teaching gave him something to rebel against.

Are you indulging in this summer’s top Black and White trend? 

If so, what are your go-to black and white pieces?

Details: 

  • Goddess Malliot: House of Fraser
  • Southsea Starfish earrings & Seahorse Necklace: MaryJoMatsumoto.com ~ also available at Grand Jewels at the Grand Wailea in Maui
  • Salt Creek Tote and Mini-Wallet: MaryJoMatsumoto.com
  • Valentino flipflop
  • Pucci beach towel
  • Chloe triangle string bikini
25 comments
  1. you always impress me with your knowledge of ART. That is one area I’m so weak in. I just know Monet, Picasso etc. I love reading these. I also ADORE B&W!!! I want everything on the board you created. It looks so good!

  2. The painting is beautiful. I have never heard from Benton before. Love the black and white trend. These Valentino flipflops are too cute.

  3. That is an awesome painting and your black + white picks are totally chic and glamorous! I can’t enough of my black & white striped tanks and tees this summer and every summer for that matter 🙂

    Your guilty pleasure sounds utterly delicious! Happy weekend

  4. Love the painting. Looks so modern even for this present time. It depicts an American summer moment on the beach. I adore the black and white theme for summer. So chic!

  5. I always love black and white whether it’s on trend or not … it’s so classic! Great painting! I always love your tie-in between fashion and art 😉 I know you’re enjoying the summer at Laguna Beach … always love the instagram photos you share, so dreamy! xo ~S

  6. This is a beautiful and i love these pieces. These black and white pieces are so pretty. I love the b&w style so much.
    Have a wonderful weekend

  7. this is a really good post idea. I’d love to learn more about art, this is really interesting!

    and those black and white pieces are perfect- how adorable are those starfish earrings? 🙂

  8. Love that painting and all your monochrome selections. Totally lusting after the Valentino flipflops now.

  9. To be honest, I really don’t think that black and white ever goes out of style. I never tire of it, as it’s classic and timeless even in artistic elements. Love these selections you have in your style board. Happy weekend and thanks for your lovely comment

  10. that white bag is amazing! I seriously need one of those. I did buy a cute black one piece bathing suit 🙂

  11. Thank you for your introduction to this artist! His style is very familiar and now I know why!
    Have a lovely weekend dear!

  12. This is so beautiful!! Love the details you put together, they work so well. The suit is gorgeous and I love your necklace and tote. I hope you have a sweet weekend doll xx

  13. Aw, I always love your art inspired posts! The painting is fabulous and I love the collection of classic items you paired with it. My best friend owns those cute flip flops with the bow 😉 xoxo

  14. Your Salt Creek collection is really so sophisticated. Black and white is such a classic combo and it is fun to see more of it as it is on trend right now….

  15. Beautiful inspiring painting! I love the summer post! Black and white is so classic for the beach! Love the one piece black swimsuit!

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