Union of Minds

Installed 2019

Artist: Richard Deutsch
Approximate Dimensions:
Sculpture 14’-3.5” high x 7’-5.25” wide x 2’ deep
Granite Pad 24’-8” diameter
Wall Panels 5’ high x 26’-1” wide
Materials: Bethel White Granite, Barre, Vermont
Surfaces: Honed polished, chiseled, flamed (rough)
Developers: Franklin Templeton Investments

Artist Statement:
Union of Minds is a granite sculpture and site work that celebrates the values of collaboration, cultural diversity and innovation. These are values that were championed by Benjamin Franklin, the namesake of Franklin Templeton Investments, and that are strongly reflected in the community surrounding the artwork, including the company’s global employees and visitors, the diverse city of San Mateo, and the innovation of the greater Silicon Valley.

Benjamin Franklin believed that he could best serve the world by serving his fellow man. By working towards the common good, one could prosper while also raising the quality of society. As a founding father, Franklin helped build a nation’s federal government as a new democracy. He invented legislatures, lending libraries, and the first volunteer fire department, and he organized neighborhood constabularies. As a diplomat who understood the necessity and benefit of global networking, he forged lasting international alliances. Franklin was a natural innovator. His amusements with electricity led him to invent the lightning rod and the first battery. He sought practical ways to make stoves less smoky and combined two types of lenses to create bifocals. All of this made him one of the most accomplished and influential Americans of his age whose contributions have significantly shaped our contemporary society.

In 1727 Benjamin Franklin and a group of friends founded the Junto Club also known as the Leather Apron Club. The 12 members were tradesmen and artisans who met to discuss issues of morals, politics or natural philosophy. The club celebrated civic virtue, mutual benefits, the improvement of self and society and the proposition that hard working citizens could “do well by doing good.” They contemplated the practical and political puzzles of the day, and through their collaboration they successfully launched a variety of public service ideas.

Benjamin Franklin was a problem solver. Union of Minds distills his view of the world as a dynamic puzzle to be resolved. The 12 puzzle pieces of its central sculpture honor the 12 members of the Junto Club and the collaborative, innovative problem solving they represented. Each separate piece contributes to the creation of a perfect, cohesive and elegant whole. Networking and building unity through collaboration were Benjamin Franklin’s strongest qualities. This artwork symbolizes the unity of collective enterprise as illustrated by a solved puzzle, combining its parts into a oneness of form.

Richard Deutsch, July 2018

Franklin Templeton Investments
1 Franklin Parkway, Buildings 930 & 950
San Mateo, CA 94403