Jessie Benton, daughter of renowned artist Thomas Hart Benton, died surrounded by family in Los Angeles on Feb. 16, at the age of 83. She had been a seasonal resident of Chilmark all her life.


The daughter of Thomas Hart Benton and her three children are suing the Kansas City bank entrusted with administering the estate of the renowned artist.

Jessie Benton’s comfortable summer home in Chilmark was just a shack on a windy hill when her parents, the painters Thomas Hart Benton and Rita Piacenza, bought it in 1923.

The world knows Thomas Hart Benton as one of the most iconic painters of 20th-century America, his work as recognizable as that of Grant Wood or Edward Hopper.

In the late summer of 1953, the artists Thomas Hart Benton and Denys Wortman sat for each other in Benton’s Chilmark studio for what became a dual portrait session, dubbed “the Battle of Beetlebung Corners” (sic) by Collier’s magazine that October.


The Granary Gallery in West Tisbury recently acquired the oil on canvas, Thomas Hart Benton’s 1926 train painting Going West.