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John Benson

Son of the late John Howard Benson - lettering artist, stonecarver, and owner of the historic John Stevens Shop in Newport, Rhode Island - John Benson has designed and carved headstones, civic and memorial tablets, and architectural lettering since graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design as a sculpture major. In 1964, he was commissioned to design and carve the inscriptions for the John F. Kennedy Memorial at Arlington Cemetery. He has designed and executed inscriptions for prominent buildings such as the Prudential Center in Boston, the National Gallery of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Armand Hammer Museum of Art in Los Angeles. He consulted with Maya Lin on the inscriptions for the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1997, Benson completed work on designing and carving 25 inscriptions for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C. Benson designed a digital sans serif typeface for use in carving and sandblasting the Roosevelt quotations into rough-faced granite. He has drawn several photo-typefaces for architectural applications and a titling typeface, called Aardvark™, for The Font Bureau in Boston. Benson has won numerous awards for his calligraphy, lettering, and inscriptional work, which have appeared in major exhibits in Europe and America, and he has lectured widely on calligraphy and monumental lettering.