Folly Theater Art
Thomas Hart Benton: City Activities with Dance Hall
Thomas Hart Benton, artist Reproduction of the original egg tempura and oil painting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art This reproduction of Thomas Hart Benton’s 1930 mural, City Activities with Dance Hall, resonates with the colorful heyday of vaudeville at the Folly (then known as the Shubert’s Missouri). The mural personifies the evolving social norms and entertainment options of life in America during the 1920s, including the emergence of women’s suffrage, the pulse of the Jazz Age and Prohibition, the growing popularity of moving pictures, and the social strain of industrialization. Benton included a self-portrait in the lower right corner, raising a glass to toast with Alvin Johnson, American Economist, the completion of the mural. To the left of the self-portrait, Benton tenderly portrays his wife, Rita, and their son, in a pose echoing images of the Madonna and Child in Christian art.