John Howard Benson

From Wikipedia

John Howard Benson (July 6, 1901 – February 23, 1956) [1] was an American calligrapher, stonecarver, incised letter designer, author, and educator. [2]


He was educated at Rogers High School, the National Academy of Design, and the Art Students League. [1] Benson was a professor of Sculpture and Calligraphy + Design Theory at the Rhode Island School of Design from 1931 to his death in 1956. He did carvings for Rhode Island School of Design, Groton School, Phillips Exeter Academy, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. [3] Benson designed the school's diploma and seal, [4] in use to this day, as well as the seal of The Wheeler School. [5] Benson was the author of The Elements of Lettering with coauthor Arthur Graham Carey. [6] He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1955. [7] Robert J. Flaherty began a documentary film on the sculptor. [8]

Rhode Island Tercentenary half dollar coin

Benson co-designed the 1936 commemorative Rhode Island Tercentenary half dollar with Arthur Graham Carey.[ citation needed]

Personal life

Benson was the originator of a long line of stone carving masters in his family. He is the father of John Everett "Fud" Benson and grandfather of Nicholas "Nick" Benson, the current director of The John Stevens Shop, which was purchased by John Howard in 1927. [3]


John E. Benson. The Letter Cutter: The Life and Work of John Howard Benson. Santa Fe: The Fisher Press, 2018. 295 pages. 9780578419084


  1. ^ a b "John Howard Benson". Redwood Library & Athenæum. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  2. ^ "Benson, John Howard, 1901-1956. John Howard Benson papers concerning The first writing book, 1953-1955: Guide". Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  3. ^ a b Michaud, Jon (2012-05-31). "The Benson Craftsmen". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  4. ^ "RISD Folders". RISD:store. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  5. ^ "History of the School". Wheeler School. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  6. ^ "John Howard Benson: Life and Work". World Wisdom. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  7. ^ "New Members Elected May 11, 1955". Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 85 (1). 1955. JSTOR  20023768.
  8. ^ Kopper, Philip (Mar–Apr 1977). "Life in Stone: A Young Master's Antique Art". Quest: 15.