Learn more about the artists, places, and themes in this exhibition.

Spring Ploughing


A black and white headshot-style photograph of Thomas Hart Benton dressed in a suit with a geometric background.

Portrait of Thomas Benton, 1935, Carl Van Vechten, American, 1880-1964, gelatin silver print, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection, LC-USZ62-42517

Thomas Hart Benton taught at the Art Students League of New York from 1926 to 1935. Abstract expressionist artist Jackson Pollock became one of his most famous students. Pollock became known for his all-over drip paintings, like Sea Change in SAM’s collection, on view on the third floor.

An abstract painting with many curving and jagged lines of black, orange, blue, yellow, and white covering the canvas.

Jackson Pollock, Sea Change, 1947. Artist and commercial oil paint, with gravel, on canvas, 57 7/8 x 44 1/8 in. (147 x 112.1 cm), Seattle Art Museum, Gift of Signora Peggy Guggenheim, 58.55, © 2007 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

“It was obvious from the first that Pollock was a born artist,” Benton once told a newspaper columnist. “All I taught Jack was how to drink a fifth a day.”