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Richard Benson (1943–2017)

American photographer, author, and professor Richard Benson has died. The former longtime Yale University professor and master printer authored a number of books on photography, including The Face of Lincoln (1979); all four volumes of The Work of Atget (1981–1985); and The Printed Picture (2008); as well as printed photographs for renowned artists such as Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, and Lee Friedlander.

Born in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1943, Benson first discovered his passion for photography while working as a printer in 1966. Benson traveled extensively throughout the United States capturing photos with an 8 x 10 inch view camera, and later, a handheld high-end digital camera. The artist began teaching at Yale in 1979, and served as the dean of the School of Art, between 1996 and 2006. In 2008, he cocurated an exhibition at New York’s MoMA called “The Printed Picture,” which traced the changing technology of making and distributing pictures from the Renaissance to the present.

Benson is the recipient of numerous honors including two publication grants from the National Endowment of the Arts; two Guggenheim fellowships; the Rhode Island Governor’s Medal for the Arts; and a MacArthur Foundation fellowship. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum; New York’s MoMA; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri; and the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven; among others.