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Historic Houses

Located on Freemason St. —
Open Saturday and Sunday

Noon to 5 p.m.

Jean Outland Chrysler Library

Barry Arts Building at 4600 Monarch Way —
Tuesday-Thursday

10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Moses Myers House

The oldest Jewish home in America open to the public as a museum offers a glimpse of the life of an early 19th century merchant family.
More about the house

About the Library

With an extensive collection of more than 106,000 rare and unique volumes relating to the history of art, the Jean Outland Chrysler Art Library is one of the most significant art libraries in the South. More about the library

Willoughby-Baylor House

Completed in 1794, this former home now presents a mix of art and artifacts. See what's on view

Located in Norfolk

One Memorial Place,
Norfolk, VA
Get Directions

While You're Here

Visit our Museum Shop
and the Wisteria Cafe.

Moses Myers House

The oldest Jewish home in America open to the public as a museum, offers a glimpse of the life of an early 19th century merchant family.
More about the house

Jean Outland Chrysler Library

With an extensive collection of more than 106,000 rare and unique volumes relating to the history of art, the Jean Outland Chrysler Library is one of the most significant art libraries in the South. More about the library

Willoughby-Baylor House

Completed in 1794, this building was the long-time home of the Norfolk History Museum. No we present a mix of art and artifacts. More about the house

Weddings & Event Rentals

The perfect place for your big day or special event. Get the details

Take a tour

We offer a number of tours on different topics. More about tours

Jean Outland Chrysler Library

Visit one of the most significant art libraries in the South. More about the library

About the Chrysler

Our story spans well over 100 years. See where we began, how we grew, and where we're going. Explore our history

News and Announcements

See what's happening at the Museum, read Chrysler Magazine, and find our Media Center. Read now

Location

745 Duke Street
Norfolk, VA 23510
757-333-6299

Always Free Parking

Get Directions

Third Thursdays

Live art performances monthly.
See the archive

Studio Team

Meet the brilliant minds behind the Studio.
See the team

Vestibule 102

Work from local artists and studio assistants.
See what's on view now

The Masterpiece Society

Learn about this innovative group of museum supporters.
Meet the Masterpiece Society

Planned Giving

Help ensure the long-term success of the Museum.
Learn about planned giving

Historic Houses

Located on Freemason St. —
Open Saturday and Sunday

Noon to 5 p.m.

Jean Outland Chrysler Library

Barry Arts Building at 4600 Monarch Way —
Tuesday-Thursday

10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Moses Myers House

The oldest Jewish home in America open to the public as a museum offers a glimpse of the life of an early 19th century merchant family.
More about the house

About the Library

With an extensive collection of more than 106,000 rare and unique volumes relating to the history of art, the Jean Outland Chrysler Art Library is one of the most significant art libraries in the South. More about the library

Willoughby-Baylor House

Completed in 1794, this former home now presents a mix of art and artifacts. See what's on view

Located in Norfolk

One Memorial Place,
Norfolk, VA
Get Directions

While You're Here

Visit our Museum Shop
and the Wisteria Cafe.

Moses Myers House

The oldest Jewish home in America open to the public as a museum, offers a glimpse of the life of an early 19th century merchant family.
More about the house

Jean Outland Chrysler Library

With an extensive collection of more than 106,000 rare and unique volumes relating to the history of art, the Jean Outland Chrysler Library is one of the most significant art libraries in the South. More about the library

Willoughby-Baylor House

Completed in 1794, this building was the long-time home of the Norfolk History Museum. No we present a mix of art and artifacts. More about the house

Weddings & Event Rentals

The perfect place for your big day or special event. Get the details

Take a tour

We offer a number of tours on different topics. More about tours

Jean Outland Chrysler Library

Visit one of the most significant art libraries in the South. More about the library

About the Chrysler

Our story spans well over 100 years. See where we began, how we grew, and where we're going. Explore our history

News and Announcements

See what's happening at the Museum, read Chrysler Magazine, and find our Media Center. Read now

Location

745 Duke Street
Norfolk, VA 23510
757-333-6299

Always Free Parking

Get Directions

Third Thursdays

Live art performances monthly.
See the archive

Studio Team

Meet the brilliant minds behind the Studio.
See the team

Vestibule 102

Work from local artists and studio assistants.
See what's on view now

The Masterpiece Society

Learn about this innovative group of museum supporters.
Meet the Masterpiece Society

Planned Giving

Help ensure the long-term success of the Museum.
Learn about planned giving

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ArtExhibitionsPast

Thomas Hart Benton and the Navy

On View

May 18, 2017 — September 24, 2017

Located in

Past Exhibition

A heroic period in American history as captured by one of the quintessential American painters of the era: That’s the story with Thomas Hart Benton and the Navy, an exhibition of steel, smoke, saltwater, and sinew all captured in a signature style.

Benton, from a family of powerful political patriarchs, credited his mother for supporting his early studies at the Art Institute of Chicago at 16 and in Paris three years later. When World War I interrupted his artistic training, he put his blossoming artistic skills to good use. He was in the Navy, stationed in Norfolk, tasked with painting ships entering the harbor to document their camouflage schemes.

Thomas Hart Benton, Up Periscope
Thomas Hart Benton, Up Periscope, oil on canvas, 1944.
Thomas Hart Benton, Cut the Line
Thomas Hart Benton, Cut the Line, oil on canvas, 1944.

Over the next two decades Benton became a star as both painter and muralist and helped establish a new art movement known as Regionalism. Along with fellow painters Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry, he rejected Cubism and other European trends in abstraction, depicting instead familiar stories from the American heartland in a seductive and lyrical style.

One of the first color covers of Time magazine featured Benton, a pugnacious, hard-drinking man of many talents. He was a dandy writer, and as a harmonica player, he was good enough to cut a record.

Benton was on a speaking tour when he learned of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and he secluded himself for six weeks to produce eight powerful—some would say disturbing—paintings for the war effort. The Year of Peril brought him to the attention of Abbott Laboratories, a Chicago pharmaceutical company that wound up underwriting Benton’s work throughout the war.

Abbott later donated many of Benton’s World War II era paintings to the United States Naval History and Heritage Command, which generously lent them for this exhibition.

Of special poignance here are submarine paintings from the USS Dorado (SS 248). Just weeks after Benton finished his work aboard the sub, it went down in action with all hands lost.

Thomas Hart Benton and the Navy will be on view May 19-Sept. 24, 2017. Admission is free.

Thomas Hart Benton, She's Off
Thomas Hart Benton, She's Off, watercolor on paper, 1944. All images courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.
Thomas Hart Benton, Slumber Deep
Thomas Hart Benton, Slumber Deep, watercolor on paper, 1944.

BONUS CONTENT: Shown below is a 10-minute movie produced by Encyclopedia Britannica Films. The 1947 featurette focuses on the process Benton used for his famous murals.

More special exhibitions

On view right now

Chaos and Awe Exhibition
Through April 28, 2019

Chaos and Awe:
Painting for the 21st Century
Exhibition Details

Ezra Wube Kaled
Through December 30, 2018

Ezra Wube: Tales of Home
Exhibition Details

From the Collection