1951 Flood Painting Sells for Nearly $1.9M in NYC

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NEW YORK, NY (AP).- A poignant 1951 painting by American artist Thomas Hart Benton depicting a devastating flood in Kansas and Missouri sold for nearly $1.9 million on Thursday. The price for “Flood Disaster” exceeded its pre-sale estimate of $1.2 million. Sotheby’s did not disclose the buyer’s name. The painting was created to highlight the extent of the damage caused when the Kansas and Missouri rivers swelled to 70 times their normal size on July 13, 1951, killing 17 people and displacing more than 518,000 residents. In a further effort to shed light on the flood victims’ suffering, the Missouri artist made a lithograph of the painting and sent a copy to each member of Congress urging them to expand a flood relief appropriations bill. It did not pass, and many of Benton’s lithographs wound up in th