In the East
Medium – Bronze 17′ x 10′
I was commissioned by the Masonic Museum and Library in Philadelphia to create a 17′ bronze likeness of Benjamin Franklin. The Masonic Museum and Library has great curators and historians and since I wanted more than just a statue of Benjamin Franklin we investigated his history. To my amazement I found that Benjamin Franklin was friends with Jean Antoine Houdon (1741 -1828). Houdon sculpted the iconic bust of Franklin that is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum in Philadelphia. To honor both Benjamin Franklin and Jean Antoine Houdon I modeled my head of Franklin from Houdon’s bust. In addition, to honor their meeting I put Houdon’s name and the date of their meeting under the collar of my sculpture of Benjamin Franklin. I do not personally know what Benjamin Franklin looked like, neither does anyone living today, but we have sculptures and paintings from his time to guide us. It is an obligation for artists to get it right – so in this sculpture I didn’t just honor Benjamin Franklin but Jean Antoine Houdon as well.