Frank Benson's Hunting & Fishing Art: Etchings & Drypoints


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Hardcover, 352 Pages.

The authors have spent nearly forty years assembling this rare collection of all fifty-five of Frank Benson’s etchings in the hunting and fishing genre. The strength and subtlety of the pieces show off Benson’s mastery of technique and artistry. For subject matter for the etchings he chose his pastime passions, hunting and fishing. The book fully documents the etchings, how they were created, their focus/subjects, background and provenance, including their sale at auction. In the world of art, it is generally held that Benson will be best remembered for his etched work. 

Frank Benson's Hunting & Fishing Art celebrates the sporting intaglio prints that mark Benson as the master of the sporting print. Over his lifetime, Benson produced over two thousand oils, watercolors, ink washes, and intaglio prints. He was exhibited in museums and galleries, was granted academic honors, and earned so many awards he became known as America's most medaled painter. But intaglio printmaking stands as his unequaled, singular achievement in a career replete with great achievements. Benson is credited with developing in America the genre of sporting art and distinguishing himself as the dean of American etchers.

Mr. Benson was born in 1862 in Salem, Massachusetts, into a seafaring and mercantile family that was among the founders of the city. He was the second of six children. His father, George, a prosperous Boston cotton merchant, was an avid hunter and fisherman, and his mother, Elisabeth, had a love for art. Frank was an inquisitive boy who liked to sketch things. Particularly, like his father, he enjoyed hunting and fishing. He possessed excellent eye-hand coordination, which aided him greatly in both his hunting and his art. He received his own sailboat at age 12 and became, by age 16, an expert sailor. He spent considerable time with his father, and even more with his brothers, cousins and friends, hunting waterfowl near home as well as shore and marsh birds such as snipe and rail. They also fished, especially for trout, and even trapped during the cold of winter. 

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