MacArthur Fellows Program

Richard Benson

Photographer | Class of 1986

Newport, Rhode Island
43 at time of award
June 22, 2017
Area of Focus
Published August 1, 1986

About Richard's Work

Richard Benson is a photographer, a printer, and an educator who studies and utilizes photographic processing techniques of the past and present.

Convinced that ink and the modern photo-offset press hold unrealized potential for photographic rendition, Benson works across a broad spectrum of photographic print media—silver, platinum, palladium, and ink.  Learning forgotten crafts and creating new ones, he has, in recent years, combined computer technology with traditional photographic imagery to produce long-run offset books of different photographers’ work, both in black and white and in color; one such volume is the Callaway edition of Edward Curtis’ Native Nations.  Benson’s own photographs are published in Lay This Laurel (1974), and in Hart Crane’s The Bridge (1981).  He is co-author of Photographs from the Gilman Collection (1984), and A Maritime Album: 100 Photographs and Their Stories (1997), two of many volumes exhibiting his work as a printer.


Since 1979, Benson has been a professor of photography at the Yale University School of Art, where he was appointed dean in 1996.

Benson studied sculpture at the Art Students League of New York, and drawing with Robert Lamb in Providence, Rhode Island, and has worked extensively with Leslie George Katz of the Eakins Press Foundation.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

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