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About John Benson

Catalogue Raisonné
The Artistic Legacy of
John Prentiss Benson

Volume I
Volume II
Volume III

John Prentiss Benson American Marine Artist

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List of Paintings

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Unlocated Paintings

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Where can I see a painting by John P. Benson?

There are paintings by John Benson in the following collections at:
Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts (3)
Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine (1)
Kittery Historical/Naval Museum in Kittery, Maine (1)
Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama (1)
Museum of Art (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island (1)
Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio (1)
Osterville Free Library in Osterville, Massachusetts (1)
Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts (1)

I have a painting by John Benson. How can I find out what it is worth?

We suggest you have it appraised by an experienced appraiser of American art. You might consider contacting art dealer John G. Hagan (johnghagan@comcast.net). His specialty is American paintings, drawings and prints, with a concentration on traditional Boston school artists of which John Benson surely is one. The editors of this book consider Mr. Hagan to be the foremost authority on the paintings of John Prentiss Benson.

I have a painting signed “Benson”. How can I tell if John Benson painted it?

First, examine the signature. Compare it with the sample shown below. John Prentiss Benson habitually signed his paintings in the lower left hand corner, but sometimes in the lower right. Often the signature was followed by the year in which the painting was made and sometimes a notation such as “to Molly.”

Some of John Prentiss Benson’s paintings are unsigned. In that case click on “Volume IV.” Nearly 50 paintings may be seen there. A quick glance will give you an idea of John Prentiss Benson’s unique style and subject matter. You will readily be able to identify whether or not he did your painting.

Over the years we have been made aware of paintings signed “Benson” or sometimes even “John Benson”.  None of those artists is John Prentiss Benson, A visit to the website www.AskArt.com, and the link to artists named Benson will reveal that there are at least five other John Bensons known at this time.

Are there any reproductions (often referred to as prints) of paintings by John P. Benson available?

As far as the editors are aware, the only reproductions made were those by The Farnsworth Art Museum (Rockland, Maine) in 1976. The painting shown was Whaler for “Cachalot,” and the reproduction measured 13” x 24” overall. The original painting is in the Farnsworth’s collection. The editors surmise that the museum may have once printed anywhere from 50 to 100 of these reproductions and given them to financial supporters as an expression of thanks. The editors are also aware that several of these reproductions have recently been discovered and sold either privately or at auction on eBay.

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