State Historical Society of Missouri Art Gallery
605 Elm Street
Our gallery space includes a permanent exhibition of ten large World War II paintings created by Thomas Hart Benton between 1941 and 1943. These images reflect the anxiety, horror, grief, and resolve that Benton and his audience experienced after the U.S. entered WW II on December 7, 1941. Benton responded to the national crisis with a series of nightmarish visions of war, eight of which were purchased by Abbott Laboratories and exhibited in New York City in 1942. These artworks were published in the propaganda booklet, The Year of Peril, that same year. Embarkation and Soldier of America were finished later, sometime between 1942 and 1944. (Viewers should be advised that many of the Year of Peril images contain scenes of violence and war that some viewers might find disturbing).