10 Facts About Nicholas Benson


Nicholas Waite "Nick" Benson was born on August 19,1964 and is a third generation American stone carver, stone letterer and owner of The John Stevens Shop in Newport, Rhode Island.


Nick Benson began working in his family business, The John Stevens Shop at age fifteen for his father, John Everett Benson.


Nicholas Benson studied Drawing and Design at State University of New York at Purchase in 1986.


Nicholas Benson spent 1987 at the Schule fur Gestaltung Basel in Basel, Switzerland where he studied calligraphy, type design, typography, and drawing under Andre Gurtler, Christian Mengelt and Armin Hofmann.


Nicholas Benson returned to the US in 1988 and continued to work under John Benson in The John Stevens Shop.


Nicholas Benson's father passed on the business to him in 1993.


Nicholas Benson is committed to teaching young artisans, in the hopes that they will go on to create their own works and thereby ensure that the legacy of this centuries-old artistic practice endures.


Nicholas Benson has had several design students, especially from nearby Rhode Island School of Design, and apprentices work with him in the shop and on projects.


Nicholas Benson has created a distinctive architectural lettering for these architectural and monumental commissions, with careful attention to the effects that large scale, shifting light, and long-term weathering have on the letters, as well as carefully crafting very small details of each letter.


Nicholas Benson is a recipient of a 2007 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the United States' highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.