Tag Archives: Jean-Antoine Houdon

The Housekeeper Did It

Good news from Philadelphia: A stolen 18th-century bust of Benjamin Franklin was recovered yesterday by the FBI. I wrote about its theft in a previous post. In a caper straight out of a game of Clue, the alleged thief is a housekeeper who reportedly stole the bust from its owner.What the perp was thinking, God only knows. Where do you fence a hot Houdon? The bust is a true likeness as well as a true work of art, so I rejoice in it return.  See the link above for details.


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September 25, 2012 · 8:54 pm

Ben Franklin Declared A Well-Dressed Man

One of Benjamin Franklin’s numerous roles during the American Revolution was his service as an ambassador to France on behalf of the Continental Congress. One of the reasons he advocated independence was his firm (and correct) belief that France would be more inclined to support an independent nation fighting against Great Britain rather injecting itself a rebellion or civil war. Already the only American any sophisticated European would have known, the world-famous Dr. Franklin knew how to dress well. The link above is a story about the Smithsonian acquiring his original silk suit that he wore as part of his diplomatic wardrobe. In addition, there is also mention that a Houdon sculpture of Franklin remains missing after a theft. That is heart-breaking news for me since I am a fan of the sculpture and I have repeatedly seen one of the four versions by the celebrated French sculptor. I hope for the sake of history and art lovers it reappears soon.

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August 31, 2012 · 9:50 pm