Carl Benton Compton Collection, 1929-1944Add to your cart.

By Hailey LaRock

Collection Overview

Title: Carl Benton Compton Collection, 1929-1944Add to your cart.
Predominant Dates: 1929-1936
ID: 01/ AR0866
Primary Creator: Compton, Carl Benton (1905-1981)
Extent: 1.0 Boxes
Arrangement: This collection is arranged in two series, reflecting Carl Benton Compton's personal experiences and artisitc career, respectively.
Date Acquired: 07/15/2016. More info below under Accruals.
Languages: English


This collection includes the personal and professional correspondence of artist Carl Benton Compton.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection includes the personal and professional correspondence of artist Carl Benton Compton. Additionally, Compton's personal journal entries, articles both authored by Compton and about him, and scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings on other art types and artists that influenced Carl Compton's work are included.

Radio segment scripts by Compton and his notes while traveling through Europe in the late 1920s provide insight to the prominent art theories and intricacies of both Compton and artists such as Robert Henri, Salvador Dali, Van Gogh, Cezanne, and Renoir, among others.

Biographical Note

Carl Benton Compton (1905-1981) was a painter, sculptor, ceramist, and lithographer who specialized in surrealist and regionalist art styles throughout the Southwest.

Born in 1905 in Estherville, Iowa, Carl Compton devoted a great deal of his life to studying art in some of the most prominent universities and under the famed artists Emil Antoine Bourdelle and Boris Israelevich Anisfeld. In 1929, Compton graduated with a Bachelors of Art from Notre Dame, and while on a graduation trip through Europe, studied in Paris at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere and the Academie Colarossi the following year. Compton would continue his tour of art institutes and study for another twenty years including schools like the Art Institute of Chicago (1935), Southwestern University (1936-1943), La Escula Universitaria de Belle Artes (1943), Del Miguel de Allende (1943), and Louisiana State University (1944).

While at Southwestern, Carl Compton and his wife Mildred took multiple trips to Mexico where they fell in love with the vibrant cultures and colors of the country. Compton’s travels there deeply affected his artwork and he gradually became extremely knowledgeable on the Taruscan people, whom he would paint prodigiously throughout the years. In his entire career, Compton’s work was showcased in over forty exhibits and continues to be held in permanent collections at The Heritage Center, San Diego and Harvard University.

Rather than be content with simply learning himself, Carl Compton served the art community through teaching. Through 1936-1943, the artist worked as a professor at Southwestern University and later became the head of their newly developed art department. In 1944 the Comptons relocated to Denton where he served as a professor and Director of the Institute for Inter-American Studies at the North Texas State Teachers College (now the University of North Texas) for twenty-five years. Compton was a member of multiple associations in his life, including the Texas Sculptors Group and the Texas Archaeological Society. Carl Compton served as an editor to “The Texas Art Teacher” publication and even led an archaeological expedition at Lake Lewisville to examine ancient hearth sites.

In 1981, Carl Benton Compton passed away to join his wife of forty-one years and fellow artist Mildred Compton. Today their family legacy is carried on by their granddaughter, Eden Compton, and her successful works as an artist in pastels.

Access Information

Access Restrictions:

This collection is not restricted.

Use Restrictions:

Reproduction and publication of materials in this collection are subject to the policies of the UNT Special Collections department. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Physical Access Note:

This collection is stored off-site and requires a minimum of 24 hour notice prior to use.

Reading Room or Duplication Requests

Depending on any access restrictions noted above, you may be able to request items be delivered to our reading room, or that we make reproductions for you. Just click on either the or icons in the listings below to be routed to our request form.

Administrative Information

Repository: University of North Texas Special Collections
Accruals: 2016-065
Acquisition Source: D. Jack Davis
Acquisition Method: Gift.
Preferred Citation: Carl Benton Compton Collection, University of North Texas Special Collections


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