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Continuing Education at PAFA

Picturing Benjamin Franklin (ONLINE) IN 651EB_ON

with Dr. Paul Sivitz


Benjamin Franklin’s iconic status has been, since his own lifetime, bolstered by images and shapes our perceptions of this historical figure. The numerous portraits, busts, and drawings from the eighteenth century are only a part of the vast collection of visual Frankliniana. Examine the man and his likenesses within an historical context, including the question as to why the image of the older, corpulent Franklin is the most popular representation, when in fact Franklin was, until quite late in life, very fit. Readings include selections Franklin’s Autobiography, as well as his letters and papers.  Online instruction will provide weekly recorded lectures plus live Zoom sessions with the instructor on Tuesdays, July 7, 21 & August 4. 7:30- 8:30. 

Note:  This course is also available for 1.0 undergraduate credit for $525

Learning Objectives

  • Develop an historical understanding of Benjamin Franklin, while at the same time, evaluate the use of his image in different contexts.
  • Learn to evaluate primary sources and use them to more thoroughly understand historical actors and events and write short papers using those sources.

Materials List: Sivitz IN 651EB_ON

Zoom Technical Requirements

Dr. Paul Sivitz received his MA in History from Temple University and his PhD in History from Montana State University. He has returned to his native Philadelphia after teaching for seven years in the Department of History at Idaho State University. He specializes in early America, the Atlantic World, Race and Slavery, the social history of disease and medicine, and the circulation of knowledge in the eighteenth century. His art historical interests span the early modern period, particularly the themes of science, medicine, and political commentary.


Benjamin Franklin, David Martin (1736-1798), 1767,Oil on canvas, 49 1/2 x 39 1/2 in. (125.8 x 100.4 cm.), Collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Accession #1943.16.1, Gift of Maria McKean Allen and Phebe Warren Downes through the bequest of their mother, Elizabeth Wharton McKean, Joseph Harrison, Jr. Collection

  • Jul 6 - Aug 9th, 2020
    for 5 weeks

    Will run

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