Nicholas Benson is a third generation stone carver who today oversees a family shop that was established in 1705, one of the longest continuously running trade businesses in the United States. Over the past three centuries the John Stephens Shop has produced headstones for New England gravesites and its skilled artisans have designed and inscribed calligraphy on buildings and stone monuments. As with many trade crafts, Mr. Benson learned through a journeyman and apprentice system. In addition, he traveled to Basel, Switzerland, to study type design and calligraphy with European masters. Renowned for its flowing sculptural qualities and precise design, the work of Nick Benson and his father can be seen on the Maya Lin-designed Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama; the Poet's Corner in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York; and the National Gallery of Art, the Kennedy Center, the National Cathedral, and the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. Recently, Nick Benson himself completed the work on the Georgia O'Keefe Museum in Santa Fe. The work of the Benson family was documented in the film Final Marks and in 2001 Nicholas Benson was featured in the "Masters of the Building Arts" program of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency