Thomas Hart Benton and the Navy presents an important series of 24 paintings and drawings that capture the heroic actions and moments of respite that made up life aboard submarines and around shipyards during World War II.

The artist, one of the more formidable personalities in American art, would have been familiar with such realities having served in the Navy during World War I. In the 1940s, Benton’s patriotic ardour, which remained a driving force throughout his career, drew the attention of Abbott Laboratories, a leading pharmaceutical company that wound up underwriting the artist’s work throughout the war.

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