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Tameka Cottle

Tiny Missouri state park a testament to an artistic giant

Tiny Missouri state park a testament to an artistic giant

Missouri's smallest state park takes up less than an acre but chronicles nearly 100 years of American art history through the eyes and work of one of the state's most famous sons. His impact on art was far bigger than his park.

The Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio Historic Site in the Roanoke neighborhood of Kansas City is a sturdy 19th-century limestone home and carriage house converted into a studio by an artist who was the Andy Warhol of his era. In the 1930s-50s, only illustrator Norman Rockwell rivaled Benton in popular acclaim.

He was a quintessentially American artist who reflected his times and environs. "Common art for the common man," Benton once said....

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