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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Thomas Hart Benton

 

Coffee and Chow
Thomas Hart Benton
 #18
Pen and ink on paper, circa 1944
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-BJ

 


Eyes almost closed in concentration as he reads a periodical spread open on his leg, a crewman munches on a sandwich and sips a cup of the ubiquitous Navy "jamoke"--coffee.

 

War Isn's All Mechanized
Thomas Hart Benton
 #11
Pen and ink on paper, circa 1944
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-BC

 


The lowly mule still pulls guns and supply wagons, the foot-soldier still fights hand-to-hand with the foe...and the mess cook must still peel potatoes by hand. Some U.S. Navy ships have automatic peelers--but don't mention it to this man!

 

Sketch for Up PeriscopeBattle Stations Submerged
Thomas Hart Benton #17
Ink wash on paper, circa 1944
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-BI

 

 

 

Up Periscope
Oil on canvas, circa 1944
Thomas Hart Benton #24
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-BP

 


Sweater-clad U.S. Navy submarine men blend into the gloomy background of their ship, illuminated in eerie fashion by a light in the overhead, as they go about their duties far below the surface while on a patrol mission. An officer keeps his eyes glued to the periscope as he scans the horizon for the outline of an enemy ship.

 

Slumber Deep
Thomas Hart Benton #19
 Watercolor on paper, circa 1944
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-BK


Crewmen of the Navy's "silent service"--submarine branch--relax in the torpedo room of a submersible during off-duty moments as their warship proceeds on her way. One man goes up the ladder on duty aloft. In a second this peaceful scene could be turned into an ordered chaos by the call to general quarters.

 

Up the Hatch
Thomas Hart Benton #25
 
Oil on pressboard, circa 1944
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-BQ

 


Crewmen of a U.S. submarine race up ladders to get aloft through the open hatchway of the conning tower, exhilarated by their eagerness to get a breath of fresh air after hours of confinement below.

page 3 of 4

 

Online Exhibits that feature Thomas Hart Benton's Work

Amphibious Operations in the Pacific Theater
The Silent Service: From the Abbott Laboratories Collection

 

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1 April 2001