Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Benson, Frank Weston

Salmon Fishing
oil on canvas
91.8 x 112.1 cm
Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA, USA

Frank Weston Benson (1862 - 1951) was an American artist from Salem, Massachusetts. He is known for his Realistic portraits, American Impressionist paintings, watercolors. He began his career painting portraits of distinguished families and murals for the Library of Congress.

In 1880, Benson began to study at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and in 1883 at the Academie Julien in Paris. He enjoyed a distinguished career as an instructor and department head at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He was a founding member of the Ten American Painters, American Academy of Arts and Letters and The Guild of Boston Artists.

He was born to a successful cotton broker. He obtained his appreciation of the sea from his grandfather, Captain Samuel Benson. When he was 12, he was given a sailboat in which he explored the waterways and marshes and raced against his siblings. To encourage educational activity, his parents gave him a weekly allowance to foster independent study and hobbies. He kept active roller-skating, tennis, ice-skating, boxing, fishing and hunting. His father gave him a shotgun and taught him how to hunt shore birds along the North Shore and wildfowl in the local fields and marshes. He spent nearly all of his weekends hunting or fishing in the fields, marshes and streams.