“There is no gilding of setting sun or glamour of poetry to light up the ferocious and endless toil of the farmers wives.” - Hamlin Garland
Magpie Tales this week has selected a lovely painting called “Chilmark Hay”, painted in 1951 by Thomas Hart Benton.
Thomas Hart Benton (April 15, 1889 – January 19, 1975) was an American painter and muralist. Along with Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry, he was at the forefront of the Regionalist art movement. His fluid, almost sculpted paintings showed everyday scenes of life in the United States. Though his work is strongly associated with the Midwest, he painted scores of works of New York City, where he lived for more than 20 years; Martha’s Vineyard, where he summered for much of his adult life; the American South; and the American West.
The painting evokes a wealth of emotions and thoughts of another time and of a pastoral place. Summer in the countryside, which although idyllic meant for so many long days of back-breaking work.
The purple heat of noon
Dries fields and makes gold the grain;
A cuckoo calling.
On land, a day’s work
By man and beast, who strive long –
Honest sweat drenches.
And evening falls late,
As balmy breezes blow soft,
A starry night sky.