Auguste Rodin, born in Paris, in the year 1840, and arguably one of the world’s most famous artists, created thousands of sculptures over a 50+ year span. Over 7,000 drawings, prints, oils and watercolors are contributed to the master sculptor of marble and bronze casting.
Focusing on the true human experience and human emotion, Rodin’s work moved away from the Greek tradition of an idealized human figure–full of mythology and folklore–and artistically arrived at a captivating realism, expressing inner turmoil, joy, love and human connection through the language and movements of the human body.
Jules E. Mastbaum, a philanthropist and Philadelphia native, gifted his extensive, personal collection of Rodin statues and the museum showcase to the city. The Rodin Museum opened to the public on November 29, 1929, with over 150 Auguste Rodin objects in the collection, three years after Mastbaum’s death.
For our 36th experience, my daughters and I visited the Rodin Museum in early March of 2018.
The museum consists of a Beaux-Arts architectural building, which displays the main collection, and the Dorrance H. Hamilton Garden, which showcases 8 Rodin works in an outdoor, formal French-style sculpture garden.
Visitors view works such as The Thinker, The Gates of Hell and The Three Shades while strolling outside in the garden.
Inside the museum, visitors find sculptures of The Kiss, Shame, Meditation, Crying Woman, Despair, Eternal Springtime, I Am Beautiful and many, many more. A very peaceful and reflective space, the main gallery bathes Rodin’s work with natural light.
A more intimate, quiet space sits off to the side, where visitors are encouraged to sketch using inspiration from Rodin’s sculptures, his books, and the provided drawing supplies. My youngest daughter wanted to stay until the museum closed.
The Rodin Museum is located at 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19130. For more information, visit www.rodinmuseum.org or call 215-763-8100.
The museum is open Wednesday-Monday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and is closed on Tuesday.
Admission to the Rodin Museum is “pay what you wish”.
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