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Eleanor Piacenza papers relating to Thomas Hart Benton, 1915-1988

Piacenza, Eleanor R., 1909-2002

Art historian


Collection Information

Size: 12.6 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of Eleanor Piacenza date from 1915-1988 and measure 12.6 linear feet. Included are biographical information, correspondence, writings, research files, interviews, and printed material compiled by Piacenza regarding the life and work of her brother-in-law, the American painter Thomas Hart Benton.
Biographical material on Benton includes information regarding Benton's childhood and awards and honors. Correspondence includes photocopies of Benton's letters home to his family, his business correspondence (some photocopies), copies of letters to Rita Benson, copies of correspondence between Benton and friends and associates, including David McCullough, Frances Tenenbaum, Roger Medearis and Jason McCoy.
Writings are by Benton, including his reflection on the occassion of his death, and by Piacenza regarding Benton and includes a 3 1/2 in. disk with writings organized by chapter, and books regarding Missouri. Research files pertain to Benton's exhibitions and murals, and artists Lewis Mumford, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, Rita Benson, and Alfred Steiglitz, among others. Other files relate to Benton's music, including transcriptions, sheet music, and lyrics. Also included are copies of interview transcripts with Benton. Printed material incudes exhibition catalogs and programs and newspaper clippings regarding Benton, his work, and exhibitions.

Biographical/Historical Note

Eleanor Piacenza was married to Louis Piacenza, brother of Rita Benton,Thomas Hart Benton's wife.


Donated 2004 by Jules Worthington, Piacenza's first husband.

Related Materials

Additional Eleanor Piacenza papers regarding Thomas Hart Benton can be found at the Harry S. Truman library.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Eleanor Piacenza papers relating to Thomas Hart Benton, 1915-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.