The year 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of François Auguste René Rodin’s death. Born in Paris in late November, 1840, Rodin’s work as a sculptor, illustrator, graphic artist and painter is considered to be the foundation of the Impressionist style.
Auguste Rodin believed all of nature was beautiful and that any artist who tried to improve upon nature by adding “green to the springtime, rose to the sunrise, carmine to the young lips…creates ugliness because he lies.” [Rodin on Art and Artists, Conversations with Paul Gsell]
The Paris-born artist, master of sculpted emotions suspended in timelessness, is celebrated throughout the world with events and exhibitions this year. Here there are a few museums around the world where you can become immerse in Rodin’s world …
Musée Rodin | photo by @dana_chels
Iris & Gerald Bernie Cantor
Musée Rodin | photo by @laurenatrain
The Cantor Foundation
Los Angeles, California
Bernie’s ‘love affair’ with the art of Rodin, as his wife, Iris, called it, began while he was still in his 20’s. He was most struck by a marble of Rodin’s Hand of God. He felt drawn to it. Two years later, he spotted a small bronze Hand of God in a Madison Avenue gallery and bought it. In the mid-1950’s he bought Rodin’s The Kiss, and that’s when his serious collecting began. ‘It brought back to me the feeling I had before,’ he said. Bernie described that feeling as a ‘source of strength, power, and sensuality. During his life his mission and passion was to keep alive Rodin’s legacy.
Since her husband’s death in 1996, Iris Cantor has continued the Foundation’s work by supporting exhibitions on Rodin and sculpture research grants, and by giving works to museums to allow Rodin’s work to reach the widest possible audience.
The Musée Rodin contains the largest collection of the sculptor’s works at two sites, in Paris, at the Hôtel Biron, and in Meudon, site of his former home, atelier, and reserve collection.
“I give the State all my works in plaster, marble, bronze and stone, and my drawings, as well as the collection of antiquities that I had such pleasure in assembling for the education and training of artists and workers. And I ask the State to keep all these collections in the Hôtel Biron, which will be the Musée Rodin, reserving the right to reside there all my life.” [Auguste Rodin – Correspondence of Rodin, volume III, 1908-1912, letter no. 103 to Paul Escudier, late 1909]
The museum spreads across eighteen rooms with tall windows, creaky oak parquet floors, marble sculptures, all this helping to an immersion in Rodin’s world.
Rodin Museum Philadelphia | photo by @dusoleilphoto
Jules Mastbaum discovered the work of Rodin on his trip to Paris in 1923. He began purchasing a number of sketches and sculptures that he donated to the city of Philadelphia for the purpose of founding the Rodin Museum.
The main entrance of the museum is a replica of the façade of the Chateau d’Issy at Meudon, France that Rodin had reconstructed.