Tom Benton's Missouri, DVD

Editor's note
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Cover James Bogan
Curators’ Teaching Professor Emeritus
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Frank Fillo
Retired Director
Cooperative Media Group
University of Missouri

One Sunday afternoon in 1984, the legendary Bob Dyer sang his ballads of Missouri history in the Capitol’s House Lounge with Thomas Hart Benton’s painted walls crammed with the life of the state looming above him. Frank Fillo and James Bogan carefully recorded the session on an ancient Nagra reel to reel tape recorder. That evening, over a couple of milkshakes, they came up with the idea to make a documentary about the mural that would feature Bob’s music. Eight years later, “Tom Benton’s Missouri,” a half-hour 16mm film, premiered, starring Benton himself as narrator of his most ambitious mural. The film was broadcast around the country on PBS and it was distributed in a VHS format for Missouri schools.

Now, a generation later, “Tom Benton’s Missouri” has been reincarnated in a high-definition digital format, and there’s a resource-rich educator’s guide that is at your disposal to spark original ways of presenting, discussing, and interacting with the greatest painted walls west of the Sistine Chapel and north of Mexico City.

The dedicated team that created the film, the digital video, audio files, and this guide profoundly hopes that you and your students will have big fun exploring Benton’s works with the help of these tools.

To find more information about this project, download the soundtrack, or educator’s guide, visit


  • Thomas Hart Benton
  • Social history
  • Missouri history
  • American painter 
  • Muralist
  • Regionalism
    Regionalist art movement.
  • Film
  • Art
  • Creation
  • Artist
  • Midwest


  • 29 minutes
    In English and Portuguese