Jim Monson completed graduate studies from 1965 to 1969 at the University of Iowa with Mauricio Lasansky. Monson received a Master’s and a Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking from the University of Iowa. In 1969 Monson worked with Stanley William Hayter in Paris and from 1970 to 1973 he was Hayter’s assistant and printer. He established his own studio and tan summer workshops in Tourrette-Levens and he was a Guest Lecturer at the Tyler School of Art in Rome.
In 1976 Monson was appointed Assistant Professor of Printmaking at Carleton College and St. Olaf College. He participated in the Print Symposium with Garo Antreasian at the University of MA in Amherst in 1981. Monson was the Assistant Professor of Printmaking and Drawing at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA from 1977 to 1982 and in 1985 he returned to Europe to live and work in southern France.