Graduate Central High School, Grand Rapids, 1901. Studied The Art Institute of Chicago Chicago, 1901-1903, Art Students’ League, New York, 1903-1905. Pupil of Charles West. Hawthorne, Provincetown.
Massachusetts, 3 summers.
After working as an illustrator in New York, he became a student of Charles Webster Hawthorne in 1912 at the Cape Cod School of Artist Although his work brought about frequent moves, he returned to the area in the summers and in 1920 bought a summer house in Truro, Massachusetts. In July 1918, Beneker was hired, under the title of "Expert Aid, Navy Department", to create posters and illustrations for the war effort.
lieutenant was in this period that he painted his most familiar work, "Sure We"ll Finish the Job", which sold over three million copies.
Later he spent four years painting workers of the Hydraulic Pressed Steel Company in Cleveland, Ohio as part of a labor-management relations improvement project Similar projects were carried out at the General Electric plant in Schenectady, New York and at the Rohm and Haas plant in Philadelphia.
He died on 23 October 1934 in Truro. Beneker was one of the founders of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.
His papers are held by the Archives of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution.
Beneker"s output was prodigious, with some five hundred works in oil produced over a thirty-year period, exclusive of his many illustrations. The latter appeared in over eighty publications including Scientific American and Harper"s Weekly. He was also noted for his Ivory Soap advertisements.
Most of his work consists of portraits, landscapes, and genre paintings of industrial and manual labor, and it is for the last that he is best known.
Beneker"s industrial paintings are optimistic and uplift the common laborer. While his portraiture and industrial works are conservatively realistic, his landscapes are noted for their impressionism.
James Guimond lists him, along with such other artists as Alfred Stieglitz, Joseph Stella, and Margaret Bourke-White, as a participant in "a popular genre of industrial art that was a kind of sooty romanticism." His industrial paintings toured the country, and Beneker was in great demand as a lecturer.
Married Flora Judd Van Vranken, September 12, 1907. Children: Katharine, Benson Van Vranken, Helen Martina, Jean.