User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Benjamin Franklin

Start collecting


Reverse: Franklin


October, 1757, Benjamin Franklin (b. 1706 - d. 1790) (original commission); 1757/1758, sent from Benjamin Franklin to his sister, Jane Franklin Mecom (b. 1712 - d. 1794) [see note 1]; by descent to her great-grandson, Benjamin Franklin Greene (b. 1780 - d. 1864) [see note 2]; by descent to his son, Franklin Greene (b. 1807); by descent to his daughter, Emily Greene (b. 1835); by descent to her nephew, Franklin Greene Balch (b. 1864); 1943, gift of Dr. Balch to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 10, 1943) NOTES: [1] For more on the commission see Charles Coleman Sellers, "Jane Mecom's Little Picture," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 99, no. 6 (December, 1955), pp. 433-435 and ibid., "Benjamin Franklin in Portraiture" (New Haven and London, 1962), pp. 236-237. [2] In a letter from Franklin Greene Balch to the MFA (October 19, 1943) he specifies the provenance of the miniature from his grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Greene.

Credit Line

Gift of Dr. Franklin Greene Balch



Overall: 5.1 x 3.8 cm (2 x 1 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Watercolor on ivory