Gerrit A. Beneker
The Beachcomber's Wharf - Provincetown
1882 - 1934
Gerrit Beneker, born in 1882, began his art career as an illustrator. He completed more than 150 magazine covers, numerous ads and illustrations for magazine stories. In 1918 Beneker was hired by the U.S. Navy to paint posters supporting the war effort. His most famous poster, "Sure We'll Finish the Job", sold more than three million copies.
Later, as the artist-in-residence at companies such as Hydraulic Pressed Steel, General Electric and Rohm & Hass, Beneker painted the factory and steel mill workers. He was passionate about honoring the workingmen of America and painting them in their environments, and by the early 1920s he was the foremost painter of American industry.
Although he is perhaps best known for these realistic portraits and genre paintings, more than half of Beneker’s 500 oil paintings are landscapes and marine paintings, particularly harbor scenes, most of which show Impressionistic techniques.
In 1912 Beneker spent the summer with Charles Webster Hawthorne at his Cape Cod School of Art in Provincetown. Beneker was a founding member of the Provincetown Art Association and was very active in developing the art colony. In 1920 Beneker and his family bought a summer home in Truro, just outside Provincetown. He died there in 1934.
Last updated: April 24, 2012