Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Just the perfect sunny day to see the Rodin Museum in center city. I'm not usually turned on by sculpture but I can appreciate it. And to see what Rodin could do with it is just amazing. Plus I have never been sooooo I though dearies, lets check it out. The Rodin Museum was the gift of movie theater magnate Jules Mastbaum to the city of Philadelphia. Mastbaum began collecting works by Rodin in 1923 with the intent of founding a museum to enrich the lives of his fellow citizens. Just three years later, he had assembled the largest collection of Rodin's works outside Paris, including bronze castings, plaster studies, drawings, prints, letters, and books. In 1926, Mastbaum commissioned French architects Paul Cret and Jacques Gréber to design the Museum building and gardens. Unfortunately, the collector did not live to see his dream realized, but to date, the museum still has the largest collection of Rodin pieces.
Over 60,000 visitors annually make the trip to see this spectacular Museum and the gardens which surround it. Designed by Jacques Gréber as part of the Museum's overall plan, the Rodin Gardens have remained a calm respite from the clatter of the city, even as the Parkway has changed over the years. As Rodin himself knew, the appreciation of works of art is heightened by nature—and that is the goal of the Rodin Gardens. My favorite part of the garden is the reflecting pool in the garden courtyard which evokes calm and echoes the cool beauty of the building. And I just love fountains.
Auguste Rodin brought monumental public sculpture into the modern era. Though he was well acquainted with the academic traditions and idealized subjects of classical and Renaissance sculpture, Rodin's aim in his work was to be absolutely faithful to nature. His uncanny ability to convey movement and to show the inner feelings of the men and women he portrayed, the use of his light-catching modeling, and his extraordinary use of similar figures in different mediums, have established him as one of the greatest sculptors of all time.