© The Bond, 2018, Bronze, Concrete, 108 x 144 inches, Masonic Museum and Library, Philadelphia, PA
THE BOND THAT IS DEMOCRACY – Press Release
This historical bronze statue represents a bond between two countries and three men. The story begins when Benjamin Franklin went to France as a diplomat and was influential in negotiating the involvement of the French in the American War of Independence. During this time, George Washington was Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. When the French Alliance sent their troops, they were led by Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette. Lafayette gifted George Washington a masonic apron, a fabric that bonds the two countries together. The monumental statue depicts George Washington presenting that apron to Benjamin Franklin. The apron is displayed in the Grand Lodge Masonic Library and Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“I was commissioned to do a sculpture of prominent Masons to be placed in front of the Grand Lodge Masonic Library and Museum in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. I met with historians from the Library and we discussed astronauts, writers, sports figures, and world leaders. I wanted the sculpture to be an American story and possibly tie it to artifacts found in the Museum. Inside the museum there’s a Masonic apron that was a gift from Lafayette to George Washington. Therefore, I thought about the story of three men – Benjamin Franklin, the diplomat who negotiated France’s involvement in the American revolution; George Washington, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army; and Lafayette, the French General. THE BOND is about that relationship and their individual involvement in the American Revolution. Also, while Benjamin Franklin was in Paris, he spent time at the Paris Masonic Lodge of the Nine Sisters with Jean Antoine Houdon the artist, and Voltaire the writer. They discussed having a country without a King or Monarch, but being ruled by the people in a democracy. At that time this was heresy. On the sculpture, inside the coat of Benjamin Franklin, I marked nine female lines representing the Lodge’s nine sisters – the classic muses presiding over the arts and sciences. The apron being presented in the sculpture represents THE BOND between the countries, the men and their ideas. We the people. THE BOND.”