Portrait bust of Benjamin Franklin (Rush), 1787
Photo courtesy of the Yale...
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Photo courtesy of the Yale University Art Gallery

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Related Publications

Sellers, Charles Coleman, Benjamin Franklin in Portraiture (New Haven: Yale University, 1962)

The sculpture was commissioned from Rush by young Noah Webster, who had become a friend of Franklin's. The work was ordered on behalf of New Haven bookseller and publisher Isaac Beers (1842-1813). Webster recorded that he paid £26.10 in Pennsylvania currency for the bust on April 14, 1787. Beers hung it in his bookshop. It is believed to have belonged to Yale University (then Yale College) as early as 1804. This line from a record written by Beers' granddaughter, Mrs. Augustus Russell Street, suggests how early misattributions about Frankliniana occur: "This work of art,...was presented by Dr. Franklin to his friend Isaac Beers Esq. of N.H." (Sellers, p. 358).
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