Preliminary sketches of Benton's mural found

KANSAS CITY, MO (AP) - Preliminary sketches of a mural by Kansas City artist Thomas Hart Benton that now hangs in the Smithsonian have turned up in the estate of a fashion illustrator.

A dozen sketches of Benton's "Achelous and Hercules" will be auctioned Saturday in Lone Jack. They were found in the estate of illustrator Patricia George, who died last year. The Kansas City Star reported Friday that the asking price for the sketches range from $1,000 to $7,500.

The pencil drawings include a bull, human figures and early outlines of what became the 22-by-5¼-foot mural.

Benton's mural hung in a Harzfeld's store in downtown Kansas City from 1947 until it closed in 1984. It used images from Greek mythology to depict Kansas City regional history. A company that owned Harzfeld's when it closed transferred it to the Smithsonian after the store closed.

Information from: The Kansas City Star,

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