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Bust of Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)
Bust of Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790), 1779
Jean-Antoine Houdon, French (active Paris)
Marble
21 x 13 1/2 x 10 inches (53.3 x 34.3 x 25.4 cm)
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Purchased with a generous grant from The Barra Foundation, Inc., matched by contributions from the Henry P. McIlhenny Fund in memory of Frances P. McIlhenny, the Walter E. Stait Fund, the Fiske Kimball Fund, and with funds contributed by Mr. and Mrs. Jack M. Friedland, Hannah L. and J. Welles Henderson, Mr. and Mrs. E. Newbold Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Mark E. Rubenstein, Mr. and Mrs. John J. F. Sherrerd, The Women's Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest, Leslie A. Miller and Richard B. Worley, Mr. and Mrs. John A. Nyheim, Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Fox, Stephanie S. Eglin, an anonymous donor, Mr. and Mrs. William T. Vogt, and with contributions from individual donors to the Fund for Franklin, 1996
1996-162-1
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Looking Questions

  • What is this sculpture made of? How was it made (modeled, carved, etc.)?
  • What aspect of this sculpture is most realistic? Why?
  • Describe this man's features, hairstyle, and clothing. When do you think he lived? What was his personality like?
  • Notice the slightly parted lips and the direction of his gaze. What could he be thinking and saying? Who or what is he looking at?
  • Do you know who this is?
 

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