Richard Benson: The World Is Smarter Than You Are

$45.00

This book presents the first in-depth survey of photographs by Richard Benson (1943–2017), who approached photography as a thrilling set of technical challenges and used the medium to craft profound depictions of people, the spaces of their lives and work, and the products of their labor. But why are we carrying a photography book? First, Benson was a seminal printer who elevated our craft to new levels. Second, he was interested in postage stamps. Third, he was a member of an important lettering family and this book helps expand on that story.

An essay by curator Peter Barberie interweaves examination of Benson’s photographic practices with the story of his ideas, writing, and reproductive printing, while photographer An-My Lê, Benson’s former student, offers her perspective on his teaching, family life, and art. The book begins with his stunning darkroom prints in silver and platinum and follows his trajectory toward extraordinary digital photography, culminating in later color prints that are at once elegant and garish, representing the contemporary world in vivid detail. Benson’s democratic eye also extended to human subjects: he photographed loved ones and strangers with extraordinary attention, and directed the same gaze to the buildings and landscapes entwined with individual lives.

  • Authors: Peter Barberie and An-My Le
  • Size: 11.7 × 9.75 inches
  • Pages: 152
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Philadelphia Museum of Art + Yale University Press, 2021