Franklin in ecstasy

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Courtesy of Charles Hankin

Artblog contributor and sculptor Charles Hankin wrote in to contribute to the current Philly Ben Franklin-mania. (See post about Nexus’ Franklin show.) Hankin had made a sculpture in 1976 of the rotund bifocals inventor — looking like he’s in ecstasy — ala Bellini‘s St. Francis. See Hankin’s blog, Working Sculptor, for more. It’s a sweet piece and I love Hankin’s mixing of Bellini, St. Francis and Franklin. The whole thing maintains and at the same time undercuts the worshipfulness of the Baroque original. But the piece also gets at something about the power of mind and the importance to humans of thinking, inventing, discovering and those eureka moments that are in fact able to transport you to giddiness — if not to ecstasy.

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