Benjamin Franklin Long IV

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Benjamin Franklin Long IV

ARC Living Master TM

American 21st Century Realist artist

Born 1945

Born in United States

  • Artworks
  • Biography


Grandson to noted artist McKendree Robbins Long and reared in a family of artists, writers, professors, and University Presidents, Long was as precocious in his artistic ability as he was eager to apply it. At 18, Long followed his father's footsteps to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he majored in Creative Writing under the guidance of his friend and advisor, Reynolds Price. Upon completing his university coursework, Long moved to New York to immerse himself in the study of fine art.

In NYC, Long became a member of the Art Students League, studying under the guidance of such notable artists as Robert Beverly Hale and Frank Mason. Then, in 1969, Long preempted the draft by enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served just over two tours of duty in Viet Nam as a Marine Combat Officer; during his last tour he served as Head of the Combat Art Team, and much of his work from that period is now on display at the Smithsonian Institute of Washington, D.C.

Upon leaving Viet Nam, Long traveled to Florence, Italy to apprentice himself to Maestro Pietro Annigoni. Long committed himself to Annigoni for almost eight years; he supported his family by teaching and taking on commissions for paintings and drawings. Long's apprenticeship culminated in 1976, when he was awarded the prestigious Leonardo da Vinci International Art Award.

In 1984, Long moved to France, where, for the next 14 years, he split time between Paris and the Gard region of Provence. By the time of the move, Long had completed several frescoes in Italy - including a joint fresco with Annigoni and the only work by a non-Italian at the Abbey of Montecassino. These works set the stage for several major fresco projects in the U.S. (13 to this day), including a dome at the TransAmerica building in downtown Charlotte, NC.

In addition to his prolific fresco work, Long has had works in the Royal Academy as well as the Royal Portrait Society (London, UK). He has exhibited in Florence, London, Paris, Atlanta, San Francisco, New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and is represented in major collections throughout Europe and the Americas. He has lived and worked in Europe for over thirty years and now divides his time between Europe and the United States.

In 2001, Long was awarded the coveted Arthur Ross Award for Excellence in the Classical Tradition (Classical America, New York, New York), and in 2002, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.