Harry Benson CBE, an exhibition

We’re pleased to hear that Glasgow-born photojournalist Harry Benson CBE, and Honorary Patron of Document Scotland, is having an exhibition at the Scottish Parliament later this year. The press release from Holyrood, reproduced below, tells all…

The Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick, with Harry Benson CBE.

The Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick, with Harry Benson CBE.

 

An exhibition featuring the work of one of the world’s most renowned photographers, Harry Benson CBE, is to go on display at the Scottish Parliament in August.

The free exhibition, Harry Benson: Seeing America, will include some of the photographer’s most iconic images capturing significant moments in America’s social, political and cultural history over the last 50 years.

Harry Benson’s credentials on photographing American history are unrivalled. Glasgow-born Benson essentially arrived in America with the Beatles and went on to photograph every US President since Dwight D. Eisenhower. Benson was present during Bobby Kennedy’s assassination and teargassed during the James Meredith March with Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. He started by covering America for the Daily Express and by 1968, was fulfilling his ambition of working for Life magazine.

 

Cassius Clay hits George Harrison of The Beatles,- copyright Harry Benson 1964.

Cassius Clay hits George Harrison of The Beatles,- copyright Harry Benson 1964.

 

This new exhibition will bring together many of his well-known images including the photograph of President and Mrs Reagan dancing, which featured on the cover of Vanity Fair, images documenting the civil rights movement and tensions in 1960s America, the Watergate journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward and Richard Nixon’s resignation speech. It will also feature many well-known American entertainers including Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Jack Nicholson, Dolly Parton, Kevin Spacey and Brad Pitt.

The free exhibition will be on display at the Parliament from Friday 12 August until Saturday 3 December. It will be the first exhibition of Harry Benson’s work to go on display in Scotland since 2008.

Reagan's Dance, copyright Harry Benson 1985

Reagan’s Dance, copyright Harry Benson 1985

 

The Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick, who announced the exhibition whilst she was in New York for Scotland Week, said: “Harry Benson’s work is admired across the world and he is undoubtedly one of Scotland’s greatest exports.

“This new exhibition is Harry’s unique take on America over the last 50 years and will feature some of his most iconic photographs.

“As the debate on the forthcoming US Presidential election intensifies, this exhibition shines a light on some of the defining moments of America’s past.

“This exhibition is a “must see” for anyone with an interest in American history, politics and culture.”

Glasgow-born, Harry has photographed some of the world’s biggest stars from The Beatles to Muhammad Ali over a career spanning 60 years.

Harry Benson CBE said: “Growing up in Glasgow, one year at the end of term when I had narrowly passed my qualifying exam to the next level, my teacher, Miss MacKenzie, stopped me as I shuffled out of the classroom and said, “Benson, I don’t worry about you one bit.” It was the nicest thing anyone had ever said to me. I wish I could have gone back years later to thank her.

“To have my retrospective, my American journey, at Parliament is an incredible privilege. My wife, Gigi, and my daughters, Wendy and Tessa, join me in thanking the Scottish Parliament for this truly remarkable honour.”

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Common Ground – our new publication

We’re delighted to announce that to accompany our ‘Common Ground’ exhibition at Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow, we have self-published an 84-page colour publication, and one which we can offer exclusively for sale here.

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Including two photo essays from each Document Scotland member, Sophie Gerrard, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Colin McPherson and Stephen McLaren, ‘Common Ground’ takes a look at contemporary Scotland as the country stands on the verge of making a political decision which, whatever the outcome, will resonate through the ages. From the common riding festivals of the Scottish Borders, to the women farmers who work the land, a walk along the Scottish-English border or a car road trip through the streets and daily life of Scotland, this publication showcases new projects completed with assistance from Creative Scotland, for our current Street Level Photoworks exhibition.

 

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This publication also introduces work by our colleagues and friends at the Welsh photography collective A Fine Beginning – James O Jenkins, Abbie Trayler-Smith, Gawain Barnard and Jack Latham, work which can also be seen in the ‘Common Ground’ exhibition.

We are delighted to also include essays by Malcolm Dickson, curator and director at Street Level Photoworks, and Anne McNeill, director of Impressions Gallery, Bradford and curator of our ‘Beyond The Border’ show which runs at Impressions Gallery until September 27th.

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We are very proud to be able to present two photographs by Glasgow-born photojournalist Harry Benson CBE, who has graciously accepted an invite to become Document Scotland’s Honorary Patron. Stephen McLaren recently journeyed to New York to meet with Harry and his wife Gigi, and in an essay he recounts this meeting, along with the two historical photographs Harry chose for the publication from his archive.

The 84-page, A4-sized, full colour publication, which has a print run of 1,000, was designed by Cabin8Design – the same artists who beautifully designed our first two newspapers.

To purchase a copy please use the buttons below, if you have any problems just give us a shout!  It costs £10.00 GBP per copy, plus postage.

We are pleased to make this contribution to Scottish photography in this landmark year for our nation’s history, and we hope you too will enjoy the work within it.


Cost incl P&P



Many thanks indeed,

Sophie, Jeremy, Colin and Stephen.

 

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