Object Record

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Object ID Number SAM 1940.5a
Object Name Print
Artist Benton, Thomas Hart
Title Wreck of the Ol' 97
Date 1944
Culture American
Copyright Thomas Hart Benton Trust/UMB Bank/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Credit line Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Moulder
Exhibit Label Thomas Hart Benton was a skilled draftsman and prolific printmaker. Working with the most basic graphic tools - a litho crayon and paintbrush - Benton translated his idiosyncratic style and popular subject matter to lithography. Benton sold many of his lithographs through the Associated American Artists for $5.00 each, ensuring his popularity and making his work available to the masses.

Benton was an avid collector and fan of folk music and completed a number of paintings and lithographs with music as the primary subject. This lithograph illustrates the famous folk song of the same title which in turn tells the real life story of Steve Brady, engineer of the mail train 97. In September 1903, the train left Monroe, Virginia and was already an hour behind schedule. To make up time, Brady instructed his men to go full throttle. The train wrecked as it hit a curve going 90 miles an hour; the train plunged 75 feet into a ravine.
Medium Lithograph/Ink
Material Paper
Image size 10" H x 14 3/4" W
Signed Name "Benton"
Signature Location Printed in lower right, written below
Currently on view No
People Benton, Thomas Hart
Subjects Train
Train Wreck
Old 97
Horse
Wagon
Falling
Panic
Disaster