Gallen Benson studied fine art sculpture at the University of Minnesota and continued with graduate study of sculpture at the University of New Mexico. But his formal studies took a twist as he turned his knowledge of sculpture to what became a passion of jewelry production. Essentially, Gallen is a self-taught jewelry artist and has been creating original jewelry for more than 30 years. He works closely with celebrities, designers, prestige retailers, precious jewelry manufacturers, galleries & museums, focusing on private clients and collectors.
Tom Saddington in an art review noted, “a new find for me and just my type of thing as his work is full of humor, is Gallen Benson. I am drawn to Gallen’s work as it is inspired by ancient jewelry but infused with a design sense which is distinctly modern. Peruse his website and you will see modern examples of pietre dure (only executed in enamel), and renaissance themed necklaces etc.”
Much of Benson’s jewelry is colorful and elaborate, made with extremely intricate cloisonné, carving and enameling techniques. He mixes antique styles with modern and his creative motivation is spiritual as well as from observing plants and animals. His cloisonné technique is some of the most beautiful and detailed you will ever find.
Several years ago, the former king of the United Arab Emirates visited the Mayo hospital in Minnesota and while he was there he requested a private art showing. Gallen was asked to participate, and among the pieces he provided was a piece he calls simply, the horse bracelet. Made of gold, platinum and diamonds and carved with the images of Arabian horses, manes flowing in the wind, the king and his wife immediately fell in love with it and bought it. Only three of the bracelets were made. Gallen gave one to his daughter, one is owned by the former king’s family and the last one is available through Plum Majestic.