The Story That Almost Wasn’t: A Sculptural Walk Through Philadelphia

“When things go awry, write the f*cking story anyway.” — Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia, October 2, 1774

Leave it to Ben to get me back on track. Last week I happened upon the above quote in Mr. Franklin’s excellent book, Good Advice For Those Who Probably Are Too Damn Dumb To Know They Need Some Good Advice. Franklin published Good Advice in May 1775 at the behest of his friend Thomas Jefferson, a future American president. A few months earlier Jefferson had lit a fire under Franklin by saying this to him: “Ben, you’ve been talking about compiling some of your recent sayings into a book. F*cking do it already!” I tell you, I like the robust way that Ben and Tom talked.

If I hadn’t been thumbing through that little-known volume in a local library, the story you’re currently reading wouldn’t exist. Thank you, Benjamin. I’ve always believed the multi-talented Mr. Franklin to be the most accomplished and remarkable American of all time. And never, certainly, did I expect that he would kick my ass into gear.

For a year or more I’d had it in my mind to stroll through Philadelphia’s central sections, looking at and taking photos of my favorite outdoor sculptures. And, it goes without saying, turning the adventure into a story for my online abode. When the 6th of December rolled around last year I decided that the time had arrived. Despite it being a windy and cold day, into the city I headed from my suburban town. I was feeling good and was ready for action.

I arrived in Philadelphia with a list of the works I planned to visit. They comprised a tiny percentage of what’s out there, because Philadelphia, and not just in its central region, is loaded with outdoor sculptures. Many of them, natch, are of war heroes atop horses. Civic leaders, natch, also are well-represented. Me, I dig those sorts of fare — statues if you will — when they’re done stylishly. But I’ve always been more drawn to sculptures that are less standard and full of flair and vigor.

Bolt Of Lightning, by Isamu Noguchi

My first sculptural stop would be in the city’s Colonial-era section, at 6th and Race Streets, near where Franklin lived and even closer to where he is buried. There, in the middle of a traffic rotary often crazy with vehicles going to and from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, stands Isamu Noguchi’s 101-foot-tall Bolt Of Lightning. It commemorates Franklin’s kite-flying experiment, during a thunderstorm in 1752, that showed the connection between electricity and lightning. Yes, Ben was the man.

In retrospect, the Bolt Of Lightning situation that I encountered should have tipped me off that the day might not turn out as hoped for. I wanted to dodge the whizzing cars and climb onto the rotary, where I’d get some up-close-and-personal photos of the very cool sculpture. But, wouldn’t you know it, a police car was parked beside the rotary. Sure as shit, if I had tried to reach the Bolt a police car door would have opened and I’d have been told to get the hell out of there. So, from a hundred feet away I took what images I could.

Milord La Chamarre, by Jean Dubuffet
Paint Torch, by Claes Oldenburg

After that I walked and walked, grabbing shots of artworks I’ve loved for years. Jean Dubuffet’s Milord La Chamarre, for instance, which is a wild and wooly vision of a nobleman, and Claes Oldenburg’s giant representation of a paintbrush balanced on the tip of its handle. Claes’ sculpture, Paint Torch, is appropriately placed, as it sits beside The Pennsylvania Academy Of The Fine Arts.

The Bond, by James West
(Ben Franklin on left, George Washington on right)

In front of the Masonic Temple, on my way to the Oldenburg work, I passed James West’s The Bond, a lifelike and life-size sculpture of Ben Franklin and George Washington, the USA’s first president. The guys, both of whom were Masons, are happy to see each other and are admiring Washington’s Masonic Apron. I probably had walked past this piece before but hadn’t really noticed it in a meaningful sense. At once it leaped onto my list of faves.

Brushstroke Group, by Roy Lichtenstein
Rock Form (Porthcurno), by Barbara Hepworth

Yeah, things were going swimmingly. But in the latter half of my stroll, my phone’s battery did something it never had done before. It went dead. I went into a public library and plugged the phone into an outlet, eventually resuscitating it. Then I continued my trek, a few minutes later reaching the Rodin Museum, on whose grounds sits my number one outdoor sculpture. Its English title is The Burghers Of Calais. The creation of Auguste Rodin, a Frenchman, it is stunning. A memorial to bravery and a profound depiction of anguish, the sculpture shows leaders of Calais, in the mid-1300s during war between France and England, gathering to face their death. The men had volunteered to be executed by English hands in lieu of a threatened killing of their city’s entire population. The intervention of the English queen, at some later point, saved them.

The Burghers Of Calais, by Auguste Rodin

I planted myself in front of The Burghers, aimed my phone’s camera at it and pressed the button. Voilà, a pretty good shot. Then I moved to a different spot to take a photo from another angle, got the camera ready, and . . . the screen went dark! The frigging battery had died a second time. An attempt at revival, via an electrical outlet inside the Rodin Museum, failed. Disgusted, I made haste to Suburban Station, within which trains that go to my little town may be found.

My mission had not been accomplished. Rodin’s sculpture required multiple photos, I felt, to capture its complexity. What’s more, two other sculptures on my list were left waiting for my visit. They had to be part of my write-up. A dejected semi-perfectionist, I threw the outdoor sculpture story idea into my cranium’s rubbish bin and left it there to decompose.

Seven weeks later, thankfully, I encountered Ben Franklin’s words of wisdom, the ones that are placed at the top of this essay. And I also encountered my wife Sandy’s comments when she was looking through the photos on my phone (the phone, by the way, somehow bounced back to life on December 7). “I like the sculpture pictures that you took last month,” Sandy said.

Looking at them again, so did I. And thus I decided to write the f*cking story anyway, a story that has some warts and holes but will have to suffice. As everybody knows, not everything turns out the way you want it to. You’ve got to roll with the punches and get on with life. That’s what big boys and big girls need do, a truth I’m not always great at keeping in mind.

(Please don’t be shy about adding your comments or about sharing this piece. Gracias!)

(If you click on any photo, a larger image will open is a separate window.)

103 thoughts on “The Story That Almost Wasn’t: A Sculptural Walk Through Philadelphia

  1. Suzanne January 31, 2019 / 3:00 am

    Oh I love art that’s outdoors. Makes art more accessible to so many more people. Art galleries can be very intimidating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 11:38 am

      Hi Suzanne. I like galleries, but outdoor art works take on a whole different feel, the way they fit in with or contrast with their settings. Thanks for dropping by. Appreciated!


  2. Alyson January 31, 2019 / 3:13 am

    What an eclectic mix of sculptures you have in Philadelphia – the 13th Century Burghers of Calais indeed. Fine pictures despite the premature shutdown of the camera phone. Moral of the tale – carry a spare battery charger with you. I now never leave home without it (only to find it is sometimes “out of juice” too!).


    • Alyson January 31, 2019 / 3:16 am

      Of course that should be 14th century.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 11:39 am

        Philly is a treasure trove of outdoor sculptures. and also of murals that are painted on the sides of buildings. It’s a good city!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Gallivanta January 31, 2019 / 3:42 am

    So glad you did write the story. I enjoyed the tour of Philadelphia’s sculptures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 11:41 am

      Thanks. It’s a good city to wander around in. You never know what you’ll find. I was surprised to discover the Franklin/Washington sculpture, for instance.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Paddy Tobin January 31, 2019 / 7:10 am

    Life’s like that; not always going as planned but you made the best of it and the story was worth telling and reading. And I’ve learned two new words: “natch” and “traffic rotary” – “naturally” and “traffic roundabout” to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. vprofy January 31, 2019 / 8:11 am

    Nice tour. Several good books on Phila sculpture.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cindy Bruchman January 31, 2019 / 8:12 am

    I haven’t been to Philly in decades. The sculptures throughout the city sounds appealing. Nice shots.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 11:46 am

      Hello Cindy. Philadelphia has a lot going for it. It’s culturally strong. Lots of restaurants. Beautiful parks. I’m a fan.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Arlene Somerton Smith January 31, 2019 / 8:36 am

    Franklin and Jefferson were a lot more colourful than I suspected. Thanks for this interesting insight into a place that’s on my list of cities to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 11:48 am

      You’d enjoy Philadelphia. If you visit, seek out some off-the-beaten-path places and activities. There are tons of good things in those categories.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. joyce hamilton January 31, 2019 / 8:49 am

    I also like the sculpture pictures as well. Reminds me of the 40 years l walked around town while working in the city. Thanks for the memories .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 11:51 am

      Hi Joyce. You and I both have racked up countless miles wandering around the city. It’s a fascinating place.


  9. Laurie Graves January 31, 2019 / 9:35 am

    Wowsah! If ever I come to Philadelphia… All so different and all so fascinating. It goes to show that like photography, sculpture is not obliged to be any one way.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Joanne Sisco January 31, 2019 / 10:19 am

    I’ve found that the things that DON’T go right are usually the best stories 🙂

    The statue and the story of The Burghers Of Calais is compelling. What a story of courage and sacrifice! I can’t imagine anything even remotely similar happening today.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 11:53 am

      You know, I hadn’t seen that sculpture in years. But I’ve seen it three times over the last few months. I think it’s one of the very best things to see of any kind in the entire city.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Jacqui Murray January 31, 2019 / 10:58 am

    Good grief you’ve just added to my TBR pile–“Note to self: Read Ben Franklin’s book with the really long name”.

    OK, now for your article. Glorious pictures, every one. The first–zoom pixelated maybe? Although it came out fine from he distance. Who knew there was a statute to Ben’s kite flying experiment?

    So is there an update to your phone? Why DID it run through it’s battery twice? Hmm…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 11:56 am

      I wish I knew what caused the problem. Maybe the cold weather put a big strain on the battery. I suspect that it’s time for me to get a new phone, although it’s working pretty decently again. Thanks for stopping by. See you!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Helen Devries January 31, 2019 / 11:07 am

    One thing is sure about ‘phones…they always let you down when you need them, but you beat the thing and produced this super post.
    I’d seen the burghers when in Calais where they stand in a pretty moserable park..,had no idea that Philadelphia had them too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 11:58 am

      Hi there, Helen. I think that five or six casts have been made of the statue. One of them is in Paris.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen Devries January 31, 2019 / 3:25 pm

        I’ll have missed that one, then! Paris was never a favourite place to visit….

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Anabel @ The Glasgow Gallivanter January 31, 2019 / 1:26 pm

    That’s a great collection of sculptures. That happens to my phone in cold weather too. I don’t think the battery can cope with it, especially as it ages. One minute it appears to have 50% or something, the next it’s dead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 2:55 pm

      That’s exactly what happened with my phone that day. It showed 45% or 50%, and then everything went black and inoperable.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. andrewcferguson January 31, 2019 / 2:12 pm

    Rodin – as in the Thinker dude? Wow. You’ve got a brilliant variety of sculptures in your city! And Ben Franklin talked a lot of sense. I can see why he inspires you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 2:57 pm

      Hi. I can’t remember how or why, but Philadelphia has had a Rodin museum for many decades. A cast of The Thinker is placed right in front of the entrance.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. JT Twissel January 31, 2019 / 3:30 pm

    A great selection of diverse sculptures – and who doesn’t love Ben Franklin! Thanks for the walk about Philadelphia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 4:30 pm

      Ben Franklin is an enormous presence in Philly, more so than anybody I think. Many places, both public and private, are named after him.


  16. Imelda January 31, 2019 / 4:45 pm

    Good that you wrote the post anyway. The sculptures you featured are interesting, not the usual one’s found in public places. They are interesting tidbits about your city.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 5:13 pm

      Right, it’s pretty neat that so many unusual outdoor sculptures are in Philadelphia. They add a lot to the city. See ya!


  17. alhenry January 31, 2019 / 5:54 pm

    Ah, The Burghers Of Calais. I saw them at the Musee Rodin in Paris (and one or two other places–they are promiscuous with their availability but nonetheless intriguing).

    “The [Burghers of Calais] had volunteered to be executed by English hands in lieu of a threatened killing of their city’s entire population. The intervention of the English queen, at some later point, saved them.”

    Lucky they weren’t depending on TheRUMP or his toady McConnell for mercy.

    Your story with its “warts and holes” is just fine. As for things turning out the way we’d like them to, well that’s a crapshoot in a fixed horse race.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 6:45 pm

      Trump’s the worst. McConnell too. And let’s not forget Pence. At least the House Of Reps contains a fair number of normal people.

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Ann Coleman January 31, 2019 / 6:55 pm

    Sometimes what we think is going to turn out to be flawed works out just fine!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 8:02 pm

      I’m glad I got a story out of it. Up until very recently I had no plans to write about it. Have a terrific weekend, Ann. Be seeing you!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Still the Lucky Few January 31, 2019 / 9:36 pm

    Sculptors who do outdoor art are a brave lot—for some reason, people love to criticize outdoor sculptures. It’s tempting for many to disparage it, especially if it has been financed by public funds. I actually love it—especially Rodin, and I’m sorry your camera let you down before your could take more pictures of The Burghers of Calais!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 10:12 pm

      Evening, Diane. The Burghers has become one of my very favorite artworks in Philly. It is a masterful sculpture. If I compiled a Top Ten list of things to do in this city, looking at The Burghers would be on the list.


  20. Robert Parker January 31, 2019 / 10:29 pm

    I like that “Milord La Chamarre,” it’s both funny and kinda scary, in a good way. It looks like a spin-off from one of those “Transformers” movies, but made out of puzzle pieces.
    Somebody this morning was just talking about those little backup batteries, that you plug your phone into, and he told me to save my money, he’d tried three different ones and none did him much good. But the shots you did get are excellent, I like the Roy Lichtenstein one too, and thought he just did paintings, I think I like the sculpture better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 11:34 pm

      I like the Milord piece a lot too. I wonder how many people notice it, since it’s above ground and kind of tucked away.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Lynette d'Arty-Cross January 31, 2019 / 11:51 pm

    Thanks for the great tour! I enjoy art and I didn’t realise that Philly is so into it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 1, 2019 / 7:06 am

      Yes, lots of art in the city, both indoors and outdoors. It’s one of the reasons I’ve lived in or near Philadelphia for most of my adult life. Here’s to a great weekend. See you!


  22. selizabryangmailcom January 31, 2019 / 11:51 pm

    Nice shots of the sculptures before your phone got possessed. I like Nogushi’s bolt of lightning a lot.

    And I agree with Joanne Sisco above: if it was today, where the Rodin statue is concerned, like a bunch of millennials, say, they’d probably wonder if self-sacrifice came under the heading of “adulting” and if it was worth it or not.

    Anyone running the country today, naturally, wouldn’t even consider it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 1, 2019 / 9:09 am

      Hi Stacey. On an individual level, many people are brave, maybe not even realizing it. Probably braver than they think.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. eden baylee February 1, 2019 / 11:08 am

    These are diverse and interesting, Neil. Thanks for the tour. They reveal so much about the city, and I love how they mark the time and place.

    Have you considered setting up a formal tour of them? After returning from Havana recently, I’d say it would make for an interesting Airbnb experience when tourists come to Philly.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 1, 2019 / 12:02 pm

      Hi. Now, that’s an interesting idea. But I wouldn’t be a good tour guide. I’m better at wandering around on my own, or with my spouse or a friend or two in tow. Enjoy the weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. enchirist February 1, 2019 / 3:11 pm

    Enjoyed reading your write-up and great pics of the sculptures. Bummer about the battery!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 1, 2019 / 4:53 pm

      Hi there. The battery situation threw me off. But eventually (weeks later) I came to my senses and wrote a story about the day!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. sniderjerry February 1, 2019 / 4:30 pm

    Hey there Neil, I enjoyed your essay and the tour. A similar Brush Stroke piece is at The Columbus Ohio Airport – wonder how many he did like that. All the best. good work. Jerry

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 1, 2019 / 5:36 pm

      I’m not too familiar with Lichtenstein’s sculptures. I know more about his paintings. He was part of the pop art movement in the 1960s, but I bet he worked in traditional styles before he got into doing very colorful art. Take care, Jerry. Have a great weekend!


  26. Isabelle February 1, 2019 / 4:32 pm

    The story of The Burghers of Calais is great and interesting. I enjoyed wandering alone the street and studying the details of the statues through your words and photos. Have a good weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 1, 2019 / 5:38 pm

      Thanks, Isabelle. I’m always glad to hear from you. I hope the weather isn’t too bad in Norway. Much of the USA is under a severe cold spell right now. Bye!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Isabelle February 2, 2019 / 12:43 pm

        The temperature was down to minus 12-15 degrees earlier this week. I was almost frozen. Might be a piece of cake compared to some places in the states, I know. Talk soon!

        Liked by 1 person

  27. smilecalm February 2, 2019 / 12:24 pm

    i’m grateful to finally see
    such wonderful art
    & hear the version
    of Franklin’s expressions
    which have been unedited 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 2, 2019 / 2:04 pm

      Hi David. I wonder if Ben “swore” very much. Wouldn’t surprise me if he did. See you!


  28. tylerus February 2, 2019 / 12:33 pm

    Thank you, my friend, for taking me on a fascinating tour. I love the post and photos (I truly feel like I’m there). Feel free to invite me on any future strolls/tours! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 2, 2019 / 2:06 pm

      Many thanks, Tyler. I’ve been living in or near Philadelphia for most of my adulthood, and never get tired of wandering around the city. It’s a fascinating place in many ways.


  29. Debra February 2, 2019 / 2:14 pm

    You might want to check out the 10 cast iron sculptures temporarily sited at the top of the Art Museum steps. Most of the tourists are ignoring them on their rush to the Rocky statue. Sigh. The Museum also has a great Claes Oldenburg sculpture, The Plug.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 2, 2019 / 3:06 pm

      Hi Debra. Thanks for the suggestion. I read about those 10 pieces. One of the sculptures I didn’t get to on December 6, because of my phone conking out, is the Nevelson work at the museum’s rear entrance. It’s one of my faves.


  30. tanjabrittonwriter February 2, 2019 / 3:16 pm

    It has been so long since I visited Philadelphia, I have only foggy memories. Definitely none of the varied sculptures you chose to show us. I should try to jog my memory by visiting again!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Julie Holmes, author February 2, 2019 / 4:24 pm

    Love Franklin’s words of wisdom! If I could go out for coffee with any historical figure, I’d pick Franklin (after Leo da Vinci, of course!). Great post, Neil!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 2, 2019 / 10:18 pm

      Yeah, Ben Franklin was an astonishing person. Glad you liked this story, Julie. Take care —

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Michele Anderson February 2, 2019 / 5:47 pm

    I had a lot of fun going on the sculptural walk with you Neil. I’ve never been to Philadelphia so that made it even more interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 2, 2019 / 10:20 pm

      Hey there, Michele. Thanks for stopping by. Philadelphia is well worth a visit. There’s much of interest to see and do there.


  33. melissabluefineart February 3, 2019 / 10:54 am

    I confess I have mostly only heard scary things about Philadelphia in recent times. I didn’t know it sported a series of wonderful sculptures, by famous people no less. In Kenosha there is a sculpture walk along a beautiful harbor. The sculptures are by, shall we say, emerging artists, but are delightful none the less. I’m glad ol’ Ben gave you a nudge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 4, 2019 / 6:58 am

      Hi there, Melissa. Philadelphia’s a cultural place. Lots of art, theater, music. Thanks for stopping by. Have a real good week!


      • melissabluefineart February 4, 2019 / 10:29 am

        True, and I believe it was an early home of culture for our country. What I was thinking of was the extreme response of fans to their team winning.


        • Yeah, Another Blogger February 4, 2019 / 10:45 am

          Right, a year ago there were huge crowds in celebration of the Eagles winning the Super Bowl. I suppose that some people were pretty rowdy, but basically it was fine.


          • melissabluefineart February 6, 2019 / 11:06 am

            Ah. The media always exaggerates. It sounded like the crowd ran amok (one of my favorite words) and were over- turning cars and smashing storefronts.


          • Yeah, Another Blogger February 6, 2019 / 12:10 pm

            Yeah, some amount of that did happen, but not a lot (though, obviously, even a small amount is too much).

            Liked by 1 person

  34. SpiritualJourney17 February 3, 2019 / 11:11 am

    That’s a great collection of outdoor sculptures! I enjoy attending art galleries, etc. and yet, I haven’t visited Philly is so long. Glad your wife and Ben gave you the nudge to write this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. angelamcclintock February 4, 2019 / 7:43 am

    Thank you Neil for opening up Philadelphia for me. I had never really thought of visiting before, but these sculptures are amazing so now it’s on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 4, 2019 / 10:38 am

      Oh, it’s a fine city in many ways — historically, culturally. Beautiful parks, good restaurants. Have a good week. See you.


  36. courseofmirrors February 4, 2019 / 8:14 am

    Wow, thanks. Brave of you, sharing you walk despite the mishaps of the day. Franklin’s good advice travelled well over the centuries. I’m impressed with Philadelphia, having a heart for the arts, even inviting Rodin and Barbara Hepworth into its streets. The latter, being placed strikingly between straight-line architecture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 4, 2019 / 10:41 am

      Hello there. The Hepworth sculpture is on a long avenue that contains a bunch of outdoor sculptures. It’s a good part of the city to wander around in. Have a great day. Many thanks for stopping by.


  37. Dave Astor February 4, 2019 / 8:17 am

    I loved this post, Neil — the descriptions and photos of the eye-catching sculptures, the phone-battery frustrations, the hilariously anachronistic banter between Franklin and Jefferson…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 4, 2019 / 10:43 am

      Thanks, Dave. When I walk around the old part of the city, I often realize that I’m stepping on the same stones that Franklin and Jefferson and Washington and all those others used to walk upon. It’s pretty amazing to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. cath February 4, 2019 / 12:55 pm

    What an interesting city you live by, Neil. I loved all of your pictures – am tantalised by the idea that there should have been more, but I’m glad you listened to Sandy. The Burghers of Calais certainly does make a powerful impression.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 4, 2019 / 4:52 pm

      Cath, one day I’ll probably do a Part II in re outdoor sculpture, and I’ll be sure that my phone’s battery is in tip-top shape before doing so.

      Liked by 1 person

  39. Fictionophile February 4, 2019 / 1:13 pm

    Thanks so much for the tour Neil. My favorite was probably that big paintbrush, though they are all cool. Thanks for giving me a brief glimpse of another side of Ben Franklin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 4, 2019 / 4:54 pm

      Hello Lynne. Claes Oldenburg, who did the paintbrush, has another real large work in Philadelphia. It’s a giant clothes pin. It’s good, but I like the paintbrush better.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. theresagreen February 6, 2019 / 11:06 am

    Thanks for venturing out to show this fascinating and eclectic collection of Public Art pieces. If you’d got round to many more that day we may have thought you weren’t giving each one your full attention! I like the lightening bolt – wonder if it’s ever been struck by the real thing? The one of the Presidents appears to me like Ben is inviting George to dance. Very impressed you’ve got a Barbara Hepworth piece there too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 6, 2019 / 12:17 pm

      Thanks for visiting, Theresa. You know, I made a trip to that rotary in 1984 when I read that Bolt Of Lightning was going to be installed. I wanted to see the installation process. Noguchi was there that day, supervising the operation. Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

  41. pjlazos February 8, 2019 / 8:16 am

    Okay first, did Ben really say that?? I have to read this book. One of my fav quotes of his goes something like, “when the well runs dry you will know the value of water,” or something like that. He’s one of my favorite founding fathers. Although I’m listening to Hamilton so much lately that I’m starting to know all the words. But I digress. I enjoyed the sculpture tour. The Jefferson and Franklin statue is not far from my office. And Neil, really? You tried to get up close to the lightning bolt? Do you have a death wish?? :0) Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

      • pjlazos February 8, 2019 / 11:03 am

        Lucky for you because those cars stop for nothing and no one!

        Liked by 1 person

  42. cincinnatibabyhead February 8, 2019 / 7:28 pm

    What do Ben, Tom, Neil and CB have in common? F Bombers! The Burghers Of Calais. Very interesting stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. jeanleesworld February 9, 2019 / 10:17 pm

    Love the variety of this art walk. Wouldn’t mind a little trip down and about such culture m’self!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 10, 2019 / 7:04 am

      What was unexpected that day for me was seeing the Franklin/Washington sculpture. It kind of took me by surprise, and really impressed me. You never know what you’ll find in Philadelphia!

      Liked by 1 person

  44. The Artist's Child February 10, 2019 / 9:20 pm

    What wonderful and varied sculptures in your city and by so many famous artists. Really enjoyed seeing them. Love the playfulness of Oldenburg’s Paint Torch. Having a paint drip on ground level really encourages people to look up at the brush.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 10, 2019 / 10:50 pm

      Hi there. One of these days I’m going to do some research to locate outdoor sculptures in Philadelphia that I don’t know about. I’ll come up with a bunch of additional favorites in the process. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  45. The Arcane Nibbler February 21, 2019 / 12:21 pm

    Who knew old Ben was such a potty mouth? Great pics and sculptures. What a wonderful city you live in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 21, 2019 / 2:08 pm

      Hey there. I moved to Philadelphia in the mid-70s, and have lived in or near the city ever since then. I never get tired of Philly. Lots to see and do there.

      Liked by 1 person

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