On the centenary of the death of Auguste Rodin (1840–1917), The Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrates its historic collection of the artist's work. Nearly 50 marbles, bronzes, plasters, and terracottas by Rodin, representing more than a century of acquisitions and gifts to the Museum, are displayed in the newly installed and refurbished B. Gerald Cantor Sculpture Gallery (gallery 800). The exhibition features iconic sculptures such as The Thinker and The Hand of God, as well as masterpieces such as The Tempest that have not been on view in decades. Paintings from The Met collection by some of Rodin's most admired contemporaries, including his friends Claude Monet (1840–1926) and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824–1898), are presented in dialogue with the sculptures on display.
The extraordinary range of The Met's holdings of Rodin's work is highlighted in an adjacent gallery (gallery 809) with a selection of drawings, prints, letters, and illustrated books, as well as photographs of the master sculptor and his art. This focused presentation introduces visitors to the evolution of Rodin's draftsmanship and demonstrates the essential role of drawing in his practice. It also addresses Rodin's engagement with photographers, especially Edward Steichen (1879–1973), who served as a key intermediary in bringing Rodin's drawings to New York.
The exhibition is made possible by the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation.
Banner: Auguste Rodin (French, 1840–1917). Orpheus and Eurydice (detail), modeled probably before 1887, carved 1893. Marble, overall: 48 3/4 x 31 1/8 x 25 3/8 in. (123.8 x 79.1 x 64.5 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Thomas F. Ryan, 1910 (10.63.2). Now at The Met: August Rodin (French, 1840–1917). The Hand of Rodin, 1917. Cast plaster with coat of shellac, 6 x 9 in. (15.2 x 22.9 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Presented by Rodin to his pupil Malvina Hoffman and given by her to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Malvina C. Hoffman, 1966 (66.247.6). Heilbrunn: Edward J. Steichen (American [born Luxembourg], 1879–1973). Auguste Rodin (detail), 1901. Direct carbon print, 10 9/16 x 8 in. (26.9 x 20.3 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933 (33.43.4). © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York