Tom Benton’s ‘Missouri,’ from mural to movie

It was “over a few root beer floats” one night that James Bogan and Frank Fillo decided to make a documentary of Thomas Hart Benton’s “A Social History of the State of Missouri,” the mural housed in the Missouri State Capitol.

Bogan, a Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of art at Missouri S&T, and Fillo, a video producer for the University of Missouri System at the time, created a 30-minute film that captured the story of the painting — and of Missouri, from Benton’s perspective. Created in 1991, the film won seven awards. It was re-mastered in high-definition format in 2012 and is available for download along with course curriculum for use in classrooms across Missouri and elsewhere.

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