Ben Franklin Statue

an original drawing by alleanna harris of the ben franklin statue located in the rotunda of the franklin institute in philadelphia

Continuing yesterday’s Franklin Institute inktober, today’s inktober is about the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, located in FI’s rotunda.

The Ben Franklin statue was sculpted by James Earle Fraser from 1906 to 1911. It’s 20 feet tall, weighs 30 tons, and is on a 92 ton pedestal of white Seravezza marble.

The statue is the focal point of the Memorial Hall, designed by John T. Windrim and modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. The Hall is 82 feet in length, width, and height. It also has a 1600 ton domed ceiling and marble floors, walls and columns.

The statue was dedicated in 1938 and designated a national memorial in 1972. It hasn’t been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, but it’s affiliated with the National Park Service (along with Franklin Institute). Admission is free to Memorial Hall. 

Original drawing now available for purchase here.

Swann Fountain

Today’s drawing is of the Swann Memorial Fountain, which is in the center of Logan Circle. The fountain memorializes Dr. Wilson Cary Swann, the founder of the Philadelphia Fountain Society.

It was designed by Alexander Stirling Calder, son of Alexander Milne Calder (who sculpted the William Penn statue on top of City Hall), and the architect Wilson Eyre. The fountain was completed in 1924.

The sculpture features three Native American figures which symbolize the area’s major streams. The girl leaning against the swan represents the Wissahickon Creek. The woman holding the neck of a swan represents the Schuykill River. The man reaching for his bow represents the Delaware River.

Original drawing available for purchase here.

Love Park

an original drawing by alleanna harris of robert indiana's love sculputure in love park

Today’s #inktober is about Love Park!

Love Park is across from City Hall and was designed by former Philadelphia City Planner Edmund Bacon (Kevin Bacon’s dad) and architect Vincent G. King. It was designed as a terminus for the Parkway, and was built in 1965. It was dedicated in 1967 as John F. Kennedy Plaza, but it’s nicknamed Love Park because Robert Indiana’s “Love” sculpture overlooks the plaza.

The Love sculpture was originally placed in the plaza in 1976 as part of US’ bicentennial celebration. It was removed in 1978, but the chairman of the Philadelphia Art Commission (Fitz Eugene Dixon, Jr.) bought it and put it permanently in the plaza in the same year.

Love Park is currently being renovated, so the Love sculpture is in Dilworth Park/on the west side of City Hall.

Ella Fitzgerald

a black history month illustration by alleanna harris of the legendary jazz singer ella fitzgerald

Today’s Black History Month illustration is of Ella Fitzgerald, the first Black woman to win a Grammy award. Often called the First Lady of Song, Fitzgerald is known for her tone, diction, phrasing, intonation and scatting/improvisational ability.

Side note: this is a pencil sketch that I did a little while ago! Back to the computer tomorrow.

Now available for purchase here.