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This painting commemorates Benjamin Franklin's association with the Society, the 200th anniversary, on 1 September 1956, of his election to membership and the celebration of the 250th anniversary of his birth, on 11 January 1956. The designer, Miss Anna Zinkeisen, reconstructed a meeting held on 3 February 1759 of the committee responsible for fine art competitions: at this meeting selected candidates were interviewed for confirmation of their awards. The minutes of the meeting give a list of those who were present, and from contemporary portraits Zinkeisen was able to select those shown: Judges: Benjamin Franklin (seated), William Chambers (standing behind chair), Edward Hooper and James 'Athenian' Stuart (looking at figure drawn by Richard Cosway).
Royal Society of Arts
oil on canvas
H 44 x W 55 cm
BENJAMIN FRANKLYN (Seated) PRESIDING AT A MEETING OF THE SOCIETY’S COMMITTEE OF POLITE ARTS, 3 FEB. 1759 by ANNA ZINKEISEN, R.O.I., R.D.I., 1956