Hawk, painted in 1940 and given to his son-in-law Ralph Lawson, demonstrates Benson’s keen study of his feathered subjects and his desire to render them truthfully in their native habitats. Even before Lawson married the artist’s eldest daughter Eleanor in 1913, the two men became friends through their mutual interest in birds and Lawson would eventually cofound the Essex County Ornithological Club in 1916. Naturally, Benson became its first president and provided illustrations for the club’s annual bulletins. A skillful hunter and a devoted conservationist, it is easy to imagine Benson dedicating his watercolor of the elegant Hawk to his friend and son-in-law Lawson as a memento of one of their bird watching trips.
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By descent through the artist's family