Frank Weston Benson

(1862-1951)

Frank Weston Benson, born in 1862, was one of the first American Impressionists as well as an etcher and teacher. He studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and at Academie Julian. His plein-air paintings are best known for female figures on hilltops, which he began in 1903. He stayed at the BMFA to teach and became a member of the "Ten American Painters". He exhibited with "The Ten" 41 times between 18998-1919. After 1912, Benson began to paint more wildlife and also developed his etching and watercolor work. "Portrait in White" (1889) is a study of his wife on their first anniversary and is often compared to James Whistler's style of "art for art's sake". He pays special attention to the blue-white of his wife's dress and the yellow-white of the chair she poses in. Benson also completed murals in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. before his death in 1951.