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Springfield Art Museum News Releases

Posted on: April 6, 2018

Southwest Missouri Museum Associates Host Ragtime Infused Birthday Party for Thomas Hart Benton

THBBB identity


Springfield, MO. (April 6, 2018) – The Southwest Missouri Museum Associates (SMMA) are hosting a new fundraising event, the Thomas Hart Benton Birthday Bash at the Springfield Art Museum. This event provides a foot stompin' , rollickin' good time as Missouri's Official Ragtime Piano Player, Gary Ellison, performs Thomas Hart Benton's Greatest Hits. Hear the stories and songs that inspired many of Benton's paintings like Frankie and Johnnie, and I Got a Gal on Sourwood Mountain.

Ellison explains, “Benton was a harmonica player who loved both folk/country music and jazz. Many of his paintings were based on specific songs, musicians, or types of music. This show is a lot of fun and helps bring history to life.” Ellison will perform jazz hits on piano and folk/country hits on guitar while displaying images of Benton’s works and historical photographs on the big screen in the Museum’s auditorium.

Tickets to this event include heavy hors d'oeuvre, wine, entertainment, birthday cake, and a whiskey toast to Benton, easily one of Missouri's most recognized artists and an important Regionalist. Proceeds benefit SMMA's support of 5th grade field trips to the Museum, Placeworks teaching artist residencies in rural schools, art acquisitions, and more.

Want to go?
When: Friday, April 20, 2018, 6:30 PM
Cost: $40
Where: Springfield Art Museum
Call 417-874-2869 or email Leslie Janzen, for tickets. Sponsorships available.


 The Springfield Art Museum is Springfield, Missouri’s oldest cultural institution, founded in 1928. A department of the City of Springfield, the Museum invites you to connect with the world, your community, and yourself through active engagement with art objects. For more information, please visit

The Southwest Missouri Museum Associates (SMMA) began as the Art Study Club, organized by Deborah Weisel, in 1926. The group incorporated as the Springfield Art Museum in 1928 and later deeded the museum and its properties to the City of Springfield in 1947. After 1947 the group became the Southwest Missouri Museum Associates, a 500+ member organization whose purpose is to support and promote the museum and art in southwest Missouri. For more information, please visit

Thomas Hart Benton Birthday Bash
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