Cooper Hewitt says...

William Arthur Smith Benson was a leader of the British Arts and Crafts movement. Although he trained as an architect, Benson took up metalwork at the suggestion of Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris. Benson’s light fittings became models for other Arts and Crafts metalwork¬—innovative lighting designs for both candles and electric light.

Early in his career, Benson focused predominantly on handcrafted objects and candle lighting. In 1881, he hired the brass and copper worker, John Lovegrove, who contributed great experience and skill and with whom Benson collaborated for many years. Benson’s workshop succeeded in mixing hand and machine production by maintaining an honesty of construction and a high quality of workmanship and design.

Benson was also an active advocate for his field. He became a founding member the Art Workers’ Guild in 1884, which brought together progressive architects, designers, and craftsmen, and also helped to establish the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1887 to address the lack of exhibitions for decorative art in Britain.