Marblehead — Beverly Benson Seamans, well-known Marblehead sculptor with pieces spanning from Boston’s North Shore to Paris, France, died October 22 after a brief illness, nine days before her 84th birthday.
Mrs. Seamans’ nearly 50-year career as an artist is most noted for her ability to capture a graceful moment in time, particularly through her bronze sculptures of birds in flight and children at play. A granddaughter of John P. Benson, notable marine painter, and the great-niece of American Impressionist painter and printmaker Frank W. Benson, Beverly started her career as a watercolorist, but she refocused her energies on sculpture after studying with George Demetrios in Gloucester in the late 1960s.
Born in Boston on Oct. 31, 1928, the daughter of Phillip and Barbara (Betts) Benson, Beverly grew up in Cohasset. A graduate of Milton Academy, class of 1946, she attended Sweet Briar College and studied at the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. She and her husband, Donald C. Seamans, were married in 1950, first settling in Brunswick, Maine, and then in Marblehead, where she lived and created art until the time of her death.
Beverly’s work can be seen throughout the North Shore. One of her first commissions were birds in flight, which are at the main entrance to the old Salem Hospital, now North Shore Medical Center. Locally, her birds in flight can also be seen at the Boston Yacht Club in Marblehead, the House of the Seven Gables and the Kaplan Family Hospice House as well as in private collections. Beverly’s sculptures of children, both real and fictional, are at the Abbot Public Library in Marblehead, where Peter Pan’s Wendy reads a book as Tinkerbell sits on his shoulder. A bronze rendition of the Drummer Boy from the Spirit of '76 painting at Abbot Hall marks the entrance to Marblehead High School. Additionally, she has sculptures at Beverly Hospital, Wellesley College, Pine Manor College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Beverly exhibited locally at the Boston Museum of Science and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. She has also exhibited throughout the United States and the world, including the National Sculptors Society in New York City, the Rehoboth Art League in Rehoboth Beach, Md., and the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, Scotland. One of her most notable commissions is one of doves titled “And a Little Child Shall Lead Them” for the American Cathedral in Paris.
In addition to her art, Beverly enjoyed traveling, cruising on her sailboat, kayaking, swimming and bicycling. Beverly could be seen kayaking around Marblehead Harbor right up until her illness.
She leaves her husband of 62 years, Donald; a son, John and wife, Sarah, of Newbury; a daughter, Jenny Butler of Palestine, Ohio; three grandchildren, Holly and Daniel of Newbury, and Alex of Palestine, Ohio. She also leaves a sister, Polly Howes of South Dartmouth and many nieces and nephews, cousins and friends. She was predeceased by a sister, Joan Baker.
ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 11 a.m. at St. Michael’s Church in Marblehead with a reception to follow in the parish hall. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Marblehead Arts Association, 8 Hooper St., Marblehead, MA 01945; Kaplan Family Hospice House of Danvers, 75 Sylvan St., Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923; and Therapy Dog International, 88 Bartley Road, Flanders, NJ 07836. Arrangements are under the direction of the Murphy Funeral Home, 85 Federal St., Salem. For additional information, please call 978-744-0497 or visit www.MurphyFuneralHome.com.