Whiskey’s Artistic Side
On Permanent View
From 1945 to 1947, Hiram Walker Distillery commissioned this group of paintings, created by some of the masters of American Scene Painting, for use in their Imperial Blended Whiskey ads. The artists were free to paint what they chose as long as their piece included one important aspect: Hiram Walker’s whiskey barrels. Though these paintings became lost to time, they were re-discovered in the late 1980s when the old Hiram Walker distillery in Loretto, Kentucky was purchased for use by Maker’s Mark.
Artists include Thomas Hart Benton (1889 – 1975), a world-renowned Regionalist whose easel and mural paintings often depict laborers; Franklin Boggs (1914 – 2009), a Uruguay- and Argentina-trained muralist for the Tennessee Valley Authority; Paul Sample (1896 – 1974), a Louisville-born painter of New England landscapes; and Zoltan Sepeshy (1898 – 1974), a Hungarian immigrant who painted the “railroad bridges, factories, miners, grimy city scenes, [and] unemployed park habitués” of midcentury America.
All the artworks are on loan from Maker’s Mark Distillery.