America’s Oldest Library Celebrates Harry Benson’s Remarkable Career

Up in Newport, Rhode Island, the Redwood Library   the oldest library in America  is celebrating its 275th anniversary this year. And to celebrate they are showing an exclusive photography retrospective exhibition, Harry Benson: Persons of Interest, at the lib until mid October.

The opening reception on June 30th drew a huge crowd of Newport’s art lovers as well as friends of Harry’s and Gigi’s. The talented photographer Sam Bolton, who lives in Newport, curated the exhibition and designed the interior of the glass cases using Harry’s magazine covers and letters from first ladies including Jackie Kennedy and were a terrific addition to the exhibition.

In the world of entertainment and popular culture [Harry Benson] has documented a who’s who — from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson to Andrew Wyeth. Even in portrait close-ups of figures as Ian Fleming or Diana Vreeland — just as in spontaneous snaps bordering on party pics, such as those depicting the range of celebrities who attended Truman Capote’s famous Black and White Ball, he reveals an unerring eye for detail and framing to capture the “decisive moment” — the flash juncture that fixes an incident as historic. No less than Federico Fellini recognized Harry’s ineffable skill in these exact terms: “[Benson’s work] leaves such an impression of naturality (sic), of natural moment. It is a little magic …”

Read the full article here here.