Gerrit Albertus Beneker (American, 1934)

Timeline

In 1905, Gerrit Beneker began his art career as an illustrator. His early passion was to create an art that would inspire and provide honor to the workingman. He completed over 150 magazine covers, numerous ads including many for Ivory Soap and over 50 illustrations for magazine stories. His early work reflects his connection to the hope and industrial energy of early 20th century America.
He went to Provincetown in 1912 where he also demonstrated skill in impressionist techniques. He was a founding member of the Provincetown Art Association and was very active in the development of the art colony.
In 1918 Beneker was called to Washington DC to paint posters for the US Navy with the goal of fostering support for the war effort among workingmen. His most famous poster, "Sure We'll Finish the Job", sold over 3 million copies. For four years he worked for Hydraulic Pressed Steel Co. in Cleveland, Ohio. His job was to paint the men in the factories and steel mills - to improve the relationship of labor and management. The "Industrial" paintings went on tour across the country for 12 years until 1934 when he died. To promote his ideas and paintings, Beneker had traveled across the country, giving over 200 lectures and exhibiting in over 250 shows.
He painted about 500 oil paintings over 30 years. This included the portraits, industrials, landscapes and marine paintings. However, the still life pictures are relatively rare.
He had a wife, who was his childhood sweetheart, and four children.

Exhibitions

2002–2005

"A Community of Artists", Provincetown Art Association and Museum's National Tour
2003
"Moments in Time, Gerrit Beneker A Retrospective", Provincetown Art Association and Museum. Catalog by Katrina Beneker.
2000
Boston Art Club 1855-1950", Vose Galleries of Boston, Catalog by Nancy Allyn Jarzombek
1999
"A Century of Impressionism on Cape Cod", Cape Museum of Fine Arts, Catalog by Cindy Nickerson
1975
"Gerrit A. Beneker, Painter of American Industry", Vose Galleries of Boston Exhibition, Catalog by Liasson, Mara