Harry Benson – Seeing America


President John F Kennedy (© Harry Benson 1961)

The Scottish Parliament is hosting a free exhibition of Glasgow-born photographer Harry Benson’s work from August to December this year.

Benson arrived in America with the Beatles in 1964. This exhibition explores Benson’s fascination with the political and historical events that unfolded in America in the 1960s and 1970s and the ensuing development of his career, especially as a renowned portrait photographer.

He was one of the few press to go on the March Against Fear demonstration with James Meredith encouraging African Americans to register to vote. His photographs capturing Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination and final moments in June 1968 shocked the world while documenting a terrible loss.

Benson has photographed every American president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama, often showing Presidents and First Ladies in a playful light as well as capturing the pressures of a life in office. He also photographed Richard Nixon’s resignation speech and the journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward who led on the reporting of the Watergate scandal.

Other portraits on display will showcase wider American life and culture.

This exhibition is well worth a visit and if you are coming through the week give me a call on 0131 3486827 and we can have a chat.

Post Author: Alex Rowley