Mary Foley Benson's Images

Organization: USDA; Property of the Smithsonian Institution, Department of Entomology
Country: United States

Several illustrations in the 1952 Yearbook of Agriculture are by the Chief USDA Scientific Illustrator at that time, Mary F. Benson. She graduated from the National School of Fine and Applied Art and studied at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC, and the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, CA.

Mary Benson was a pilot prior to World War II and was in the Army Air Corps during the war. After leaving her position with USDA at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, Mary Benson relocated to the west coast and established a studio in Hollywood, CA. In 1964 she moved to Davis, CA where illustrated insects for several entomologists at the University of California. She produced many color plates for the book, Mealybugs of California by Howard L. McKenzie. Mary Benson’s illustrations are widely published and her work was shown in a variety of art galleries.