Best Place to Pine for the Artist's Life

Thomas Hart Benton Home

There are no great masterpieces at the Thomas Hart Benton Home, just reprints. Benton's paintings have all been hauled away to museums around the world. But the house is pretty much as it was when the artist lived there a quarter century ago. It's a nice house; not too grand, not too quaint, sitting on the edge of Roanoke Park, an inspiring urban oasis if ever there was one. Walking from room to room, one easily drifts into fantasy, momentarily assumes the life of an artist. The house is quiet and cozy, a perfect stage for creative breakthrough. The shelves are packed with literature and history books, the fodder for great murals. And out back is the place where it all happened, the spacious studio. Everything seems just as the artist left it: a stretched canvas on the easel, dabs of paint on the palette, a sharpened pencil. Take a deep breath and imagine that this is your office, that your task every day is to pick up a brush and dive in.

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