A new exhibition celebrating the renowned photographs of Harry Benson CBE entitled Harry Benson: Kings & Queens opened at the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF).
Kings & Queens showcases a collection of photographs portraying World Chess Champion Robert “Bobby” Fischer, Boris Spassky, current top American chess players Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura, reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen; Twelve American presidents from Eisenhower to Trump; Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth II; and newly-commissioned work from this summer’s 2018 Sinquefield Cup, an elite chess event in St. Louis featuring 10 of the strongest chess players in the world. Iconic figures rounding out the exhibition include such diverse subjects such as Sir Winston Churchill, The Beatles, Jackie Kennedy, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger.
The exhibition is a compilation of images spanning Benson’s 60+ year career, highlighting rare, behind-the-scenes shots of infamously reclusive Bobby Fischer, who befriended the celebrated photographer while he covered Fischer’s world chess championship run in the 1970s.
“Bobby was an amazing chess prodigy and the most extraordinarily complicated and fascinating person I have ever met,” Benson said. “And I feel privileged to have been one of the few he chose to let into his life.”
Benson has photographed every United States president from Eisenhower to Trump; was feet away from Bobby Kennedy the night he was assassinated; in the room with Richard Nixon when he resigned; on the Meredith March with Martin Luther King, Jr.; and was present when the Berlin Wall went up and when it came down.
On January 1, 2009, Benson was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In 2017, Benson was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame in Saint Louis, Missouri, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Center of Photography in New York. Benson has also received an Honorary Doctorate from The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow University; St. Andrews University, Scotland; and Glasgow Caledonian University. Under contract to LIFE magazine from 1970 until it closed in 2000, he has worked for The London Sunday Times, Vanity Fair, Time, Newsweek, Architectural Digest, Quest and People. Benson has had 40 museum and gallery solo exhibitions and 16 books of his photographs have been published, including Bobby Fischer (2011), New York, New York (2011), The Beatles on the Road, 1964-1966, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America (2012) and the recent Harry Benson: Persons of Interest (2017). An upcoming book, Paul McCartney will be published by Taschen in 2019.
Harry Benson – Kings & Queens
October 5, 2018 – March 24, 2019
WORLD CHESS HALL OF FAME
4652 Maryland Avenue, Saint Louis, MO 63108