Robert H Smith Lecture: In The Land of Never-Ending Elections Will The 2022 Mid-terms Make Any Difference?

Wednesday 12 October 2022, 17:30 BST/12:30 ET.
Online and in-person public event (Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building)

Our annual Robert H Smith Lecture in American Democracy will once again be held in partnership with the LSE Department of Government. This year, the lecture will ask US Election Expert, Philip Davies, “will the 2022 mid-terms make any difference?”

Philip Davies is Chair of the American Politics Group of the Political Studies Association. He was formerly Director of the British Library’s Eccles Centre for American Studies, is Professor Emeritus at De Montfort University and a Distinguished Fellow at Oxford University’s Rothermere American Institute. He is the architect of the Congress to Campus UK programme that brings former US Members of Congress to meet UK audiences annually each November. He has published on many aspects of US elections and election campaigns and is the main sponsor of the Philip and Rosamund Davies US Elections Archive, housed at the Vere Harmsworth Library, Oxford.

The event is hosted by Pavi Suryanarayan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at LSE and moderated by Benjamin Franklin House Director, Márcia Balisciano.

For more information and to sign up, click here.

After Dark: Thanksgiving

Thursday 24 November 2022, from 5pm.

It’s time to give thanks! The museum is the perfect setting to spend quality time with family and friends on this all-important American Holiday.

  • Celebrate with an after-hours tour of the historic House
  • View decorations created by our school and family groups
  • Add a note to the ‘Wall of Gratitude’ in the House’s corridor
  • Enjoy traditional Thanksgiving treats (including the “best Pumpkin Pie” in London) in our parlour

Tours will run at 5pm, 6pm and 7pm. Limited capacity with timed entry. Book now to secure the tour time of your choice.

£15 per person, refreshments included.

Family Event: Thanksgiving

Join us on Sunday 13 November 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. as we celebrate the traditional American holiday of Thanksgiving. You will learn all about this popular event and also learn how to decorate your house to celebrate it!

Uncover the origins of this North American holiday. You will learn all about how Thanksgiving was celebrated through the ages including Benjamin Franklin’s time and find out why turkeys are most commonly associated with it.

Decorate Benjamin Franklin House with your very own hand-crafted Thanksgiving displays for all to see! Together we will create all kinds of Thanksgiving-themed decorations from colourful hand turkeys to hand-made cornucopias and a gratitude tree that visitors to the house will be able to enjoy!

This event is designed primarily for families with children age 5-10. However, all are welcome to take part in the festivities! This is a FREE event, but donations are always warmly welcome.

Book Tickets: HERE

Family Event: Halloween

Trick or treat! Join us on Wednesday 26th October at Benjamin Franklin House for a fun-filled morning as we explore the history of America’s spookiest holiday and craft some terrifyingly good decorations to take home!

Discover where Halloween comes from and why we celebrate it! Ever wonder why we carve pumpkins, dress up in scary costumes, and eat lots of candy? You’ll learn the answers to these questions and more as we uncover the mysteries behind this frightfully fun festival!

Create your very own Halloween-themed decorations to take home and decoration your coffins with. Glue sticks at the ready! There will be lots of arts and crafts happening throughout the session. Make your very own Halloween card, a garland of ghosts to hang from your rafters, and a wickedly wonderful witch ornament for your window.

This event is most suitable for families with kids ages 5-12. However, everyone is welcome dead or alive! This a FREE event, but donations are most welcome.

Event Times

11am-12:30pm – SOLD OUT

1:30pm-3pm – Available

Book Tickets HERE

Literary Prize 2022: SUBMISSIONS OPEN

The deadline for our Annual Literary Prize is fast approaching, but worry not! There is still over a month left before submissions close on Wednesday 30th November 2022 at 23:59.

Each year a question or quote exploring Franklin’s relevance in our time is open for interpretation in 1000-1500 words. The competition is exclusively for young writers, aged 18-25, with a first prize of £750, and a second prize of £500. Winning entries will be published on our website.

The Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize is held in association with The Telegraph and endowed by Benjamin Franklin House Chairman John Studzinski, a leading executive and philanthropist.

2022 Competition

The Franklin quote for interpretation in 2022 is ‘The Eyes of other People are the Eyes that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither fine Clothes, fine Houses nor Fine Furniture.’ Letter to Benjamin Vaughan, 1784. Please find details of how to enter below:

  • Entries of 1000-1500 words must be sent to education@benjaminfranklinhouse.org by 23:59 on Wednesday 30th November
  • Entrants must be aged 18-25 years and living in the UK
  • Each Entrant is asked to provide their name, preferred email, postal address and phone number within the email and the entry attached as a word document. In addition entrants should provide their age and place of study (if applicable; if they are not in education, they should provide a biographical note explaining their current activities)
  • Entrants may submit only one entry; fiction or non-fiction

Shortlisted entries and the eventual winners will be announced in early 2023.

Please contact our Education Manager with any queries.

After Dark: The Cadavers of Craven Street

Thursday 27 October 2022, from 5pm.

Are you ready to explore the darker side of Benjamin Franklin House?!  Join us for an after-hours tour this Halloween to hear of haunted happenings at our Historic House.

  • See Benjamin Franklin House transformed for the occasion and experience a eerie evening in an original Georgian home
  • Hear the spine-chilling stories of the cadavers that were found in our basement
  • Immerse yourself in our small and spooky candle-lit rooms
  • Listen to the haunting tones of Franklin’s Glass Armonica

There might even be some tasty treats (or tricks) along the way…

Your history-lovers Halloween starts here! Limited capacity with timed entry. Book now to secure the tour time of your choice.

£15 per person (plus booking fee), refreshments included.

Alternatively, join us on Saturday 29 October for a whole day of family friendly tours!

Open House 2022

As part of this year’s Open House festival, we invite you to take the exclusive chance to experience Benjamin Franklin House self-guided, using our free, digital guide on Bloomberg Connects. 

36 Craven Street is exceptional given that it retains a high degree of authentic features, with relatively few later alterations. These include original floorboards, original ceilings, and original fireplaces. Most of the rooms are panelled; the stairs are original. There are carved wood mantelpieces with decorative pilasters to the jambs in the room which was Franklin’s Parlour. Combined with Benjamin Franklin’s long residence, the House is of special cultural importance, reflected by its Grade l status.

Visitors will be able to walk around at their own leisure and will get to go behind the scenes through exclusive talks and information on the app.

This is a drop-in open day, so there is no need to pre-book. To prepare and save time upon arrival, please download our guide on Bloomberg Connects.

There will be an alternative, accessible version of the guide available on the day.

Plan your day here.

Children’s Summer Fair 2022

This year, Benjamin Franklin House is collaborating with the William Morris Society and Fulham Palace for an exciting Children’s Summer Fair to end the Summer Holidays!

Join us on Saturday 27th August for an exiting day of family friendly activities.

Get stuck in with the range of activities on offer:

  • The William Morris Society will be getting inspired by our latest exhibition on May Morris by recreating her Orange Tree in 3D form and creating beautiful tissue paper flowers.
  • Benjamin Franklin House will be exploring letters from the past with the chance to write your own 18th century letters using quills, ink and parchment!
  • Fulham Palace will be bringing along some mystery objects from the past. Get curious and guess what they are, who used them, and when and where you think they come from. Complete with a chance to get into costume!

The event will be taking place at The William Morris Society, 26 Upper Mall, London, W6 9TA and is FREE! Although we do request that you book tickets to secure a place as there are limited slots available. You can book your tickets here.

Virtual Talk: Benjamin Franklin and Popular Culture

Thursday 1st September 2022 – 5pm BST/12pm ET

Join our Front of House and Marketing Supervisor, Jessica Eykel, as she explores why and how Franklin has endured within the popular imagination since his death in 1790.

She’ll also attempt to answer that one question on everyone’s mind … ‘where on earth is Franklin in Hamilton?!’

 

Family Event: Portrait Perfect

Strike a pose! Discover the secrets of portraiture and explore the hidden messages behind some of the most famous paintings in the world! In this session we will look at some of the most famous portraits of Benjamin Franklin to uncover the stories they tell us about his fascinating life.

About this event

Explore the home of one of the most famous figure from American history, Benjamin Franklin, who lived in London for almost 16 years! Inside you will get a feel for 18th century London and find the perfect backdrop for your very own portrait!

Examine the interesting details hidden throughout some of the most famous paintings in the world as well as those featuring Benjamin Franklin himself!

Create a fantastic Georgian portrait of yourself and fill it with your very own hidden meanings and messages!

This is an event for KS2-3 school children and our recommended age is 7-13. Accompanying adults welcome. There are two opportunities to join us for this event; come along on either 30th or 31st August for our fourth and final week of Summer Break @ Ben’s House!

Book Tickets