The daughter of Thomas Hart Benton and her three children are suing the Kansas City bank entrusted with administering the estate of the renowned artist, claiming a litany of lapses ranging from to failing to maximize its value to losing track of at least 100 paintings.

In a lawsuit filed in Missouri, Jessie Benton of Chilmark, her son Anthony Gude, and her two daughters, Daria Lyman and Cybele Benton McCormick, are seeking unspecified damages and asking to have UMB Bank removed as trustee of two trusts for which she is the primary beneficiary. Mr. Benton’s only other child, a son T.P. Benton, died in 2010, leaving no children.

A leading figure in the American Regionalism art movement, Mr. Benton was born in Missouri in 1889, lived in Paris and New York, and earned fame for his depictions of work and life in rural America, including Martha’s Vineyard where he had a summer home and studio. The opening of the new Martha’s Vineyard Museum featured a retrospective of his work.

Following Mr. Benton’s death in 1975 and that of his wife, Rita, a few months later, the Kansas City bank — then known as City National — became trustee of his estate. According to the lawsuit, the estate was made up of two multimillion-dollar trusts that included hundreds of paintings, drawings and lithographs by Benton and other prominent artists, correspondence between Benton and President Harry S. Truman, original manuscripts of articles and books written by Benton and intangible property including copyrights.

The heirs’ 47-page complaint alleges that the bank held itself out as having special expertise to preserve a fine art collection and continues to do so on the strength of its association with Mr. Benton’s work. However, they claim, the bank has failed to maintain a complete inventory of the artwork, did not obtain valid appraisals before selling many of Benton’s paintings and did not properly store, preserve or protect them. Moreover, the complaint says the bank failed to promote the artist’s legacy in a way that could have made his estate more valuable.

A bank document from 2003 indicated that more than 100 pieces of artwork were unaccounted for, the lawsuit contends.

“UMB is unfit to administer and manage the Benton Trusts because it lacks the competence and expertise required to manage and administer the assets, particularly the Benton artwork, of the Benton Trusts,” according to the complaint filed Dec. 17 in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri.

In a statement emailed to the Gazette, Jim Rine, president and CEO of UMB Bank, disputed the allegations made in the complaint, calling them “inflammatory.”

“Thomas Hart Benton’s legacy and family are very important to us,” the statement said. “The facts are simply not as they are being portrayed by these lawyers. We will review the concerns raised in the lawsuit, address misguided impressions and work with the family to resolve issues consistent with Mr. Benton’s wishes and the trust documents.”