On Thursday, Sept. 8, the Farnsworth Art Museum will present a lecture by scholar Henry Adams titled Tom and Jack: The Intertwined Lives of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock, also the title of his latest book. The lecture will take place at 6 p.m. in the downtown museum’s auditorium.

In a story full of surprises, Adams will explore the intense and sometimes turbulent relationship between the two men. He also will trace the evolution of their art, from Benton’s early adventures as a modernist in Gertrude Stein’s Paris to Pollock’s ultimate triumph as the leader of the Abstract Expressionists. At first glance, the drip paintings of Pollock —lariats of pigment thrown onto the canvas —appear to be the polar opposite of Benton’s murals of restlessly rolling American landscapes peopled by cowboys and steelworkers. Yet the two artists had a close and intense relationship dating from Pollock’s earliest days in New York when Benton, then one of the most famous artists in America, took the young man under his wing. Benton gave Pollock the only formal training he ever had; in a disturbing oedipal twist, Pollock fell in love with Benton’s wife.

Adams holds a Ph.D. in Art History from Yale University and is Professor of American Art at Case Western Reserve University. He has worked as a curator and museum director at institutions such as the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art. He has spoken extensively at museums and colleges around the country and has written numerous books and articles, most recently “Tom and Jack,” the subject of this lecture. In 2010, Adams gave the Farnsworth’s annual Wyeth Day lecture titled Andrew Wyeth, King Vidor, and The Big Parade.

Seating for this program is limited to 60 people. The cost is $10, $8 for museum members. For reservations, call 596-0949 or visit farnsworthmusem.org/education.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to dernest@villagesoup.com.