ST. LOUIS (AP) – The identity of a black man painted in famed artist Thomas Hart Benton’s mural inside the Missouri State Capitol has been uncovered after decades of mystery and speculation.
The Kansas City Star reports the experts on Benton and his 1936 mural, “Social History of the State of Missouri,” hadn’t been able to identify the only black man depicted in a crowd of white people during a political speech. The mural covers the walls of the House lounge in the state Capitol.
Retired Missouri University professor James Bogan published his findings Monday identifying the man as St. Louis black politico Jordan W. Chambers, a powerful leader in the city and national politics.
Bogan says he determined it was Chambers through Benton’s story about the mural, which was noted in his memoir.