Harry Benson


Harry Benson Biography

Scottish, b. 1929

Scottish born photojournalist Harry Benson arrived in America with the Beatles in 1964. Harry has photographed every U.S. president from Eisenhower to Joe Biden; was just feet away from Bobby Kennedy the night he was assassinated; in the room with Richard Nixon when he resigned; on the Meredith march with Martin Luther King, Jr., next to Coretta Scott King at her husband’s funeral; on maneuvers with the IRA; was there when the Berlin Wall went up and when it came down; and covered the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans.

Benson was honored with a Doctor of Letters from the Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow University in 2007. In 2009, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and received his honor at Buckingham Palace. Later in 2009, Benson received an Honorary Fellowship in the Royal Photographic Society. In 2013, he received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from The University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

Twice named NPPA Magazine Photographer of the Year, Benson received the 2005 LUCIE Award for Lifetime Achievement in Portrait Photography; the 2005 AMERICAN PHOTO Magazine Award for Achievement in Photography; the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Scottish Press Photographers Association; and has twice received the Leica Medal of Excellence. He has had over 40 gallery solo exhibitions and fourteen books of his photographs have been published.

Benson’s photographs are in the permanent collection of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC and both museums hosted his Harry Benson: Being There exhibition (2006-2007). A major retrospective exhibition of Benson’s photographs took place at Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow from June in 2008.

Benson was under contract to LIFE Magazine from 1970 to 2000. His photographs appear in major magazines including Vanity Fair, Town & Country, Architectural Digest, Time, Newsweek, Vice, Paris Match, and The London Sunday Times Magazine.

2022 Harry Benson: Persons of Interest, The Redwood Library and Athenaeum, Newport, RI
2022 Group Show, Cavalier Gallery, New York, NY
2020 New York State of Mind [Online Exclusive], Cavalier Galleries
2019 Important Photography Group Show, Cavalier Gallery, New York, NY
2019 Harry Benson: 20th Century Icons, Coe + Co Photography Gallery, Nantucket, MA
2017 Harry Benson: Get the Picture, Staley Wise Gallery, New York, NY
2015 Winter Exhibition – Cavalier Galleries, New York, NY
2015 Naples International Art, Antique and Jewelry Show, Naples, FL
2015 Palm Beach International Jewelry, Art & Antique Show, Palm Beach, FL
2014 Park Avenue Armory Fair, New York, NY
2014 Important Photographs: 1930’s – Today - Cavalier Galleries, New York, NY
2014 Icons of Photography: Cavalier Galleries, Nantucket, MA
2014 Winter Exhibition, Greenwich, CT
2014 Captured: Photography Group Exhibition, Cavalier Galleries, Greenwich, CT
2014 Just off Madison: Group Exhibition, Cavalier Galleries, New York, NY

Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Kelvingrove Museum of Art, Glasgow, Scotland
Private Collections, International

Hamilton Advisor
London’s Daily Sketch
Daily Express
Beatles Private Photographer
Life Magazine
Vanity Fair
Architectural Digest

2001, Harry Benson: 50 Years in Pictures
2003, Once there was a way... Photographs of the Beatles
2005, Harry Benson's America
2007, Harry Benson's Glasgow
2013, Harry Benson. The Beatles. Cologne