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Sale 2446 Lot 435
BENTON'S LEGACY TO POLLOCK BENTON, THOMAS HART. Autograph Manuscript, unsigned, complete draft of his article, "The Mechanics of Form Organization in Painting," including over 20 drawings, unsigned, most graphite, sketches of diagrams or studies for hypothetical artworks illustrating text, many on same sheet as text, many small. One page includes a jotted dedication in holograph: "Dedicated to my class at the Art Students League which made apparent the need of some systematic study of composition." 39 pages, 4to or folio or 8vo, written on rectos only; marked chipping and brittling and toning to first 7 pages (with only minor loss), remainder with minor scattered foxing. Np, 
Estimate $20,000 - 30,000
In 1926, three years before painting America Today (the ambitious mural at the New School for Social Research that would begin his career as a critically acclaimed painter), Benton was a young instructor at the Art Students League. It was during this period that he wrote "Mechanics of Form Organization in Painting," an essay that was not only among the first publications on abstract composition by an American painter, it also had a significant impact upon Benton's pupil, Jackson Pollock.
Published serially in The Arts, November and December, 1926; January, February, and March, 1927.
Provenance: From Benton by exchange to William Neuse; thence by descent to John Neuse; thence by 1976 private sale to the present owner.