Thomas Hart Benton : Family Suing Missouri Bank for Losing Track of his Artworks
A fight in court is preparing over the bequest of painter Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), a vital figure in the American Regionalist development.
The case pits the craftsman's little girl, Jessie Benton, and her three youngsters, against Kansas City's UMB Bank, run by the Kemper family, unmistakable workmanship benefactors who loan their name to the city's Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.
In a claim recorded Tuesday in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, the Benton main beneficiaries blamed the bank for fumbling the craftsman's multimillion-dollar domain, selling work for underneath market esteem, frequently in clusters without recognizing individual works. "UMB's activities and disappointments portrayed in this have brought about an abundance of millions of dollars in harms to the Benton Trusts," peruses the protest.
Benton's main beneficiaries need to see the bank eliminated as legal administrator and are requesting installment of $1 million, or more harms and legitimate expenses. "We're requesting that the bank compensate for the worth that they lost on those deals," said the family's legal counselor, Andrew Boyda of Missouri's Langdon and Emison, to Artnet News. "The family and Jessie are clearly crushed. They believed UMB bank to really focus on the bequest and make the proper move required, and that trust was broken."
"In spite of our broad endeavors to address [the] issues introduced, the Benton family and its delegates have decided to determine asserted issues through case," UMB said in an articulation gave to the Wall Street Journal. "We play our job as a legal administrator for workmanship and different resources genuinely, and will straightforwardly address and shield the off track charges made in the claim."
For a craftsman's bequest to be overseen by a business bank, rather than their family, a workmanship display, or a committed craftsman's establishment, is strange. Be that as it may, UMB's previous director, R. Crosby Kemper Jr., who passed on in 2014, was a significant gatherer of Benton's work. (He and his better half Bebe likewise helped to establish the Kemper Museum.) His child, Mariner Kemper, has run the bank starting around 2004.
Before Benton kicked the bucket, he and his better half, Rita, both set up entrusts with UMB with a now-perished legal advisor filling in as legal administrator. Their two youngsters, Jessie, presently 80, and T.P., who passed on in 2010, were the trusts' recipients.
Whenever Rita kicked the bucket only three months after her significant other, Jessie, mother to three small kids, didn't scrutinize the monetary courses of action. Be that as it may, in 2015, during a festival of Benton at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, she visited the domain bank vault and was upset by what she saw. "The assortment had been moved from the environment controlled vault to a security store box vault," said Boyda. "She thought, 'where are altogether the pieces at?'"
The Benton family asserts they were charged countless dollars to fabricate environment controlled offices for the craftsman's work, just to have the works put away somewhere else. The grumbling claims that for a very long time, the bank didn't furnish the family with customary evaluations of the domain's resources. Whenever squeezed, the bank would not give a rundown of their possessions of Benton's work, or data regarding which parts had been sold.
"Reasonable more than 100 indispensable bits of craftsmanship are unaccounted for and lost from the Benton Trusts due to UMB," the grumbling fights.
Desert Artist, a Benton painting his family says was willed by the craftsman to an establishment connected to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, rather ended up at the Kemper, where it is inventoried as an endowment of Bebe and Crosby Kemper. As of press time, UBM had not reacted to requests from Artnet News.
An expert of non-literal canvas, Benton portrayed the regular day to day existences of average Americans, from ranchers to assembly line laborers. His work can be found in the assortments of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, among different foundations.
As per the Artnet Price Database, the sale record for a work by Benton is $4.89 million, set in 2015 at Christie's New York with the offer of Ozark Autumn. It's one of 15 pieces by Benton to get more than $1 million at sell off.