Auctioneer Press Release Circle Auction

Circle Auction Unveils Historic Thomas Hart Benton Collection Once Owned by Vincent Campanella

Nov 21,2023 | 10:00 EST By Circle Auction

Kansas City, MO – Nov. 20th 2023

Circle Auction is proud to announce the sale of an exceptional collection of works by the legendary American artist Thomas Hart Benton, previously owned by fellow artist and friend, Vincent Campanella. This significant collection, amassed by Campanella, includes a variety of Benton's drawings, watercolors, and paintings, and is set to be auctioned on December 2, 2023.

The collection, comprising 113 items, represents a comprehensive exploration of Benton's artistic journey. According to Benton author and scholar Dr. Henry Adams, "This collection of works by Thomas Hart Benton, assembled by Vincent Campanella, is the single largest collection of Benton drawings and studies outside of the Benton Trust." Adams spent weeks cataloging and researching these works in 2007, notes the collection's unparalleled record of Benton’s evolution in style and subject matter.

This extraordinary assemblage came into Campanella's possession under unique circumstances. Following Benton’s passing in 1975, Campanella, who had a deep artistic and personal connection with Benton, completed a mural Benton had begun for Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame. It is believed that some of these works were gifted to Campanella by Rita Benton, in appreciation for his contributions.

Highlights of the collection include "Character Study of an Old Woman" (Oil, 1926) and "Study For Wyoming Hay" (Oil On Board, 1963). These pieces, along with others in the collection, showcase Benton's diverse subjects – from rural landscapes and farming scenes to figure studies and circus scenes – providing a unique insight into his working process.

Many of the sketches in the collection are studies Benton made in preparation for notable murals or paintings; the final versions now hang in museums, institutions, and private collections around the country. Graphite sketches in the collection have connections to the “Missouri Mural” mural at the state capitol, “Benton Farm” in the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, "Achelous and Hercules" at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and “Trail Riders” at the Denver Art Museum.

Circle Auction invites the public to preview this landmark collection in person at 901 Woodswether Rd., on November 30 and December 1. Online bidding has already commenced, with final online bidding to begin Saturday Dec. 2nd at 10am CST.

Additionally, a detailed essay by Henry Adams on Vincent Campanella, offering further insight into the relationship between these two artists and the collection's significance, is available on the Circle Auction website and to winning bidders.

This auction is not just a sale; it's a celebration of artistic legacy, showcasing the friendship and mutual respect between two prominent figures in the American art scene. We look forward to welcoming art lovers to this notable event.

For more information and to view the catalog, please visit


James Fry

Circle Auction

901 Woodswether Rd.



By Circle Auction