Richard Benson, Dean of the Yale University School of Art for the last five years, and a professor of photography there for the last 20, is an internationally renowned expert on photographic printing. He has won MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, grants from the NEA, and many other awards. He has printed numerous distinguished photography books, including such classics as The Works of Atget, Lee Friedlander's The American Monument, and Irving Penn's Passage.
Richard Benson has worked as a photographer, printer and teacher since the nineteen sixties. He was the Dean of Yale University's School of Art for ten years from 1996-2006. He currently resides, with his wife Barbara, in Newport, Rhode Island.
Benson's photographic work has centered on landscapes and urban scenes, and he worked for many years with an 8x10 camera, and printed the pictures in silver, platinum or ink. He photographed extensively in Newport, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico and, in the nineteen seventies, specialized in the photography of sculpture. His photographic work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, The Yale University Art Gallery and many other institutions and private collections. He presently photographs with a digital camera and prints his pictures using ink jet printers of various types.
As a printer Benson was instrumental in developing the technologies presently used in the industry to reproduce photographs in ink. He worked for many years in the book trades, producing halftone negatives and overseeing the presswork for such publications as The Work of Artget, in 4 volumes (Museum of Modern Art), The Face of Lincoln (VikingPress), numerous books of the work of Lee Friedlander, and many other publications for various authors and publishers. Benson also did the halftone work and printed the plates for Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company (White Oak Press), a large limited edition book with 200 reproductions done in as many as 9 individual colors each. He also has printed photographically for Paul Strand, Walker Evans and numerous other photographers.
He has taught many workshops and given many lectures on photography, printing and their associated technologies. Benson became an assistant professor at Yale University in 1979, and taught there on a part-time basis as an adjunct professor until 1986, when he received tenure and became Dean of the School of Art. He has a high school diploma, served three years in the US Navy, and has a Masters Degree from Yale.
Richard Benson has received 2 National Endowment for the Arts publication grants, 2 Guggenheim Fellowships and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He is the co-author of Lay This Laurel (Eakins Press) with Lincoln Kirstein, and A Maritime Album (The Mariner's Museum of Newport News, Virginia) with John Szarkowski. He also is the author of A Yale Album (Yale University Press), a book of historical photographs celebrating Yale's Tercentennial.