Focusing on four seminal events of the 1960s – the building of the Berlin Wall, the Beatles’ first American tour, James Meredith’s March Against Fear and the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy –Harry Benson: Four Stories comprises around three dozen works that succinctly capture crucial moments of this turbulent time. The exhibition is on view at the Addison Gallery of American Art through January 30, 2023 and presents the photographs that catapulted Benson’s career, featuring 14 works by Benson from the Addison Collection and loans from the artist.
The exhibition includes historical photographs of soldiers and civilians building the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie; Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis at the James Meredith March Against Fear in Mississippi; the Beatles through the rise and culmination of Beatlemania; and Robert F. Kennedy’s hopeful start to a presidential campaign and shocking assassination. Illustrating an important and turbulent period in world history, Benson’s photographs create a record of events that defined a decade.
Scottish-born photojournalist Harry Benson CBE arrived in America with the Beatles in 1964 and, in his words, has ‘never looked back’. In the decades since, the award-winning photographer has demonstrated great diversity in his work. In addition to the compelling stories featured in this exhibition, Benson has also covered conflicts in Kosovo, Bosnia and the Gulf War; is the only photographer to have photographed the last 13 US Presidents, from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Joe Biden; and has also turned his lens on everyone from Muhammad Ali to Queen Elizabeth II. His photographs of historical events, political figures and luminaries have been published in major magazines including LIFE, The daily express, time, vanity fair, W, news week, French Vogue, Paris match, forbes, The New Yorker, persons, Seekand The Sunday Times Magazine. The subject of a 2015 documentary, Harry Benson: Shoot firstBenson’s work has also been published in numerous monographs, including the recently published one Paul celebrates Paul McCartney’s 80th birthday and career.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Addison Gallery is hosting a Q&A with Benson on Saturday, October 22 from 5:00 p.m., followed by a reception. Both events are free and open to the public; Registration for the Q&A is required. Visit www.addisongallery.org for more details.
About the Addison Gallery of American Art
Dedicated exclusively to American art, the Addison opened in 1931 and houses one of the most important American art collections in the world. His collection includes more than 23,000 works by artists such as John Singleton Copley, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, George Bellows, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, Jennifer Bartlett, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Kerry James Marshall and Mark Bradford, as well as photographers Eadweard Muybridge, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Sally Mann, Dawoud Bey, Carrie Mae Weems and many others. The Addison Gallery, housed in a standalone building on the campus of Phillips Academy — a boarding school for grades 9 through 12 in Andover, Massachusetts — offers an ever-changing series of exhibits and programs, all free and open to the public Publicity.
The Addison is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. Admission is free.
Harry Benson: Four Stories
September 1, 2022 – January 29, 2023
Addison Gallery of American Art
3 Chapel Avenue
Andover, MA 01810