Select Publications —
National Geographic Magazine
Stern Magazine, Hamburg
GEO Magazine, Hamburg
The Independent Sunday Magazine, London
Merian Magazine, Hamburg
Epoca Magazine, Milan
Solo Exhibitions —
Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT 2015
Harnett Art Museum, Richmond, VA 2016
Leica Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2016
Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, MA 2017
Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Winona, MN 2017
HistoryMiami Museum, Miami, FL 2018-2019
National Portrait Gallery
Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Harvard Art Museums
George Eastman Museum
Peabody Essex Museum
Nathan Benn embraced color photography before it was considered an acceptable medium for serious documentary expression; he synthesized the intentions of post-World War progressive photo-reportage with modernist aesthetics. The National Geographic Society photographic division recruited Benn, a native of South Florida, immediately upon his 1972 graduation from the University of Miami. Three hundred of his photographs were published in National Geographic Magazine and hundreds more can be found in numerous NGS books.
Benn’s assignments were equally divided between domestic and overseas projects. He typically photographed people in their authentic environment, rarely posing or manipulating the subjects. His reportage for National Geographic included the Netherlands, Dead Sea, Prague, South Korea, Scotland, Florida, Vermont, Massachusetts, Mississippi River, Finger Lakes, Dead Sea, Prague, Hasidic Jews, Jewish Diaspora, medicinal herbs, human physiology, Bible lands archaeology in the Middle East, pre-Columbian archaeology in Peru, and skyscrapers.
While revisiting his archive over the past decade, Benn discovered hundreds of unpublished pictures that vividly depict American culture and diversity. Kodachrome Memory: American Pictures 1972-1990, Benn’s monograph published in 2013 by PowerHouse Books, features over 100 photographs organized by geographic regions and affinities. American Photo magazine honored the monograph as one of the best books of the 2013.
After two decades at National Geographic, Benn put down his cameras in 1991 to focus on nascent digital media technology; this lead to his creation of the first online digital asset management and media licensing enterprise, Picture Network International (PNI). Launched in 1993, PNI’s Internet platform and marketplace revolutionized the stock photography industry, creating the archetype for Corbis and Getty Images.
In early 2000 Benn became Director of Magnum Photos, the renowned photographer cooperative founded in 1948 by Henri-Cartier Bresson, David Seymour, George Rodger, and Robert Capa. Under Benn’s leadership from 2000 to 2003 Magnum transitioned from an analog enterprise to a best-of-class digital platform. The cooperative also published award-wining books including RFK Funeral Train and New York September 11 by Magnum Photographers. Benn lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Rebecca Abrams, a fine art photographer, and their teenage son.
Mailing address: Nathan Benn, 360 Furman Street #1019, Brooklyn, NY 11201