On the centenary of the death of Auguste Rodin (1840–1917), The Metropolitan Museum of Art will celebrate its historic collection of the artist’s work in Rodin at The Met, opening September 16, 2017. Nearly 50 marbles, bronzes, plasters, and terracottas by Rodin, representing more than a century of acquisitions and gifts to the Museum, will be displayed in the newly installed and refurbished B. Gerald Cantor Sculpture Gallery (Gallery 800). The exhibition will feature 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’s collection by some of Rodin’s most admired contemporaries, including his friends Claude Monet (1840– 1926) and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824–1898), will be presented in dialogue with the sculptures on display.
The exhibition is made possible by the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation.
The extraordinary range of The Met’s holdings of Rodin’s work will be 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 will introduce visitors to the evolution of Rodin’s draftsmanship and demonstrate the essential role of drawing in his practice. It will also address Rodin’s engagement with photographers, especially Edward Steichen (1879–1973), who served as a key intermediary in bringing Rodin’s drawings to New York.
Rodin at The Met begins a new chapter in the Museum’s long- standing engagement with Rodin. In 1912, The Met opened a gallery dedicated to Rodin’s sculptures and drawings—the first at the Museum devoted exclusively to the work of a living artist. Displayed in that gallery were almost 30 sculptures and, within a year, 14 drawings. During the late 20th century, the historic core of The Met’s Rodin collection was further enhanced by Iris and B. Gerald Cantor and their Foundation’s gifts of more than 30 sculptures, many of them from editions authorized by the artist and cast posthumously. Today, The Met’s holdings of Rodin’s art are among the largest and most distinguished in the United States. The exhibition will give visitors the opportunity to experience anew Rodin’s enduring artistic achievements.
Rodin at The Met is organized by Denise Allen, Curator in The Met’s Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts; Ashley Dunn, Assistant Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints; and Alison Hokanson and Asher Ethan Miller, both Assistant Curators in the Department of European Paintings.
Education programs will accompany the exhibition including a Sunday at The Met program “Rediscover Rodin” on October 15, a Picture This! Workshop on October 19, and a Met Signs Tour: Rodin at The Met with Emmanuel von Schack on Friday, November 3.
The display in Gallery 809 will close on January 15, 2018. The installation of paintings and sculptures in Gallery 800 will remain on permanent view with periodic rotations of selected works.
The exhibition will be featured on the Museum’s website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter via #RodinatTheMet.
For information about Rodin centenary exhibitions in other museums in the United States and Europe, visit Rodin100.org/en and use #Rodin100 for social media.