Ben Austrian

Artist Biography

Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin Austrian was self-taught and began his career in Paris. He later opened a studio in London before returning home to Berks County, Pennsylvania. He was lauded for his paintings of barnyard animals, specifically mother hens with their chicks. Beginning in 1902, the makers of Bon Ami household cleaner used an image of one of Austrian’s chicks on their packaging with the slogan “Hasn’t Scratched Yet”®, a marketing device that is still in use today. In 2016, the Reading Public Museum celebrated his paintings with a solo exhibition titled Ben Austrian: An American Original. At auction, his work has sold for as much as $82,950.

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