Saturday, March 5, 2011
Independence and the Opening of the West
Thomas Hart Benton began this mural at the Truman Library and Museum in 1960. Benton and Truman, two of Missouri's favorite sons, became good friends while work proceeded on this mural. Truman was even known to get up on the scaffolding to take the brush from Benton and dab some paint on the sky. Benton describes this work as the Plains Indians against the hunter, trapper, the French and the permanent settlers. Independence was known as the last city before the frontier. Truman did not want Benton to glorify him in a painting but accepted Benton's idea of this mural.