Casson Mann‘s latest project, the Benjamin Franklin Museum in Philadelphia opens to visitors.
After two years of renovation, the museum dedicated to the life and legacy of Benjamin Franklin reopens below historic Franklin Court in Philadelphia, U.S.A, and the underground venue now features a completely new exhibition experience by Casson Mann.
Although an iconic figure in the United States, the Benjamin Franklin Museum is the only venue in the U.S. that is dedicated to a biographical exploration of Franklin. This is the first time that the underground museum has been reconsidered since created by the National Park Service in 1976.
With a remit to teach visitors about the legacy of one of the great men of the 18th Century, Casson Mann was commissioned to work closely with consultant curators Remer&Talbott to create a completely new interpretive and interactive exhibition experience that will inform, engage and inspire the next generation of visitors, in particular the school groups that visit in large numbers from neighbouring states.
Franklin’s life is explored across five key themes that reveal his character and personality, interests and influences, creative and intellectual acumen. It also encourages visitors to discover for themselves the depth and breadth of his extraordinary contribution to the social, political and cultural legacy of Philadelphia and the country he helped shape and indeed represented in both the UK and France.
Casson Mann brings these themes to life by weaving together documentation, artefacts, audiovisuals and interactives against an richly suggestive environmental backdrop derived from the archaeological evidence of Franklin’s house that once stood on the Franklin Court site. This absent house was immortalized in the iconic ‘Ghost House’ structure by architects Robert Venturi and John Rauch with Denise Scott Brown, created as part of Independence National Historical Park’s 1976 project to mark the Bicentennial anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
Says Dinah Casson “Creating this exhibition experience for the Benjamin Franklin Museum has been a tremendous privilege. Franklin was an extraordinary man – a forerunner of the modern international social and political entrepreneur. Our aim was to create an exhibition that conveys the depth and reach of the private as well as the public man. We hope visitors will share our sense of discovery”.