|Thomas Hart Benton Home|
Located at 3616 Belleview, the Benton Home is a 2 1/2 story late Victorian-style house made from quarried limestone. Sitting majestically on a slight hill above the street, it almost seems like part house and part castle when you look up at its sturdy rock structure from the road.
This architectural gem was designed by George Mathews and built in 1903, coincidentally the same year which Mathews tragically died in a Kansas City streetcar accident.
|The Carriage House|
At the time Kirkpatrick lived in the home, it was illuminated with gas lights, and the carriage house also served as a horse stable.
However, by the time the Benton family moved into the house in 1939, it had electricity, and Benton soon converted half of the carriage house into an art studio.
Known as the man who created breathtaking murals inside the Missouri State Capital in Jefferson City and the Truman Library in Independence, Benton was born in Neosho, Missouri.
As a teenager, he briefly worked as a cartoonist for a Joplin newspaper before leaving the area to serve in the Navy and to study, create, and teach art in places like New York, Chicago, and Paris.
|Entering The Benton Home|
|The Benton Living Room|
From there, you enter the home through a set of wooden double doors and step into a very traditional-looking living room. Benton's bright and beautiful art adorns the walls, adding color and personality to the otherwise muted palette of the room.
|The Benton Family|
|The Benton Home Entry Area|
Customers who were interested in purchasing artwork from Benton were usually greeted in this space by Benton's wife, Rita, who was his business manager.
|The Benton Dining Room|
|The Benton Kitchen|
|The Benton Library|
|The Benton Master Bedroom|
|Self Portrait With Rita|
|Inside Benton's Studio|
Benton died here in 1975, but the studio remains exactly as he left it. You can feel his presence and almost envision him at work as you step into his personal creative space.
It is filled with coffee cans full of well-used brushes, tools, a canvas waiting to be painted and more as you look around and try to take everything in.
|Benton's Art Studio|
The Benton property was purchased by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in 1977, who opened the house and studio to the public. It is a state historic site and on the National Register of Historic Places.
For more information on tour days, hours, prices, parking and more, visit the Missouri tourism website.