RODIN Centenary

At the Legion of Honor



Country: USA
City: San Francisco
Museum/Gallery: Legion of Honor
Artist: Auguste Rodin
Year: 1840-1917

January 28 – December 31, 2017

header-rodin-wLEFT: Auguste. Rodin in front of “The Gates of Hell”. 1905. Bichromated-gelatin print, H.33 cm; W.25 cm. Portrait by Gertrude Käsebier (1852-1934)RIGHT: Auguste Rodin, “The Thinker,” c. 1880, cast c. 1904. Bronze, 182.9 x 96.5 x 137.2 cm (72 x 38 x 54 in.). Signed: A Rodin; stamped: Alexis Rudier / Fondeur, Paris. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels.


Marking the centenary of Auguste Rodin’s death in 1917

This exhibition, featuring about 50 objects from the Fine Arts Museums’ permanent collection, presents a significant opportunity to examine the legacy of the artist who has been called the father of modern sculpture.

laboratoire_de_la_creation_3In 1915, Legion of Honor founders Alma and Adolph Spreckels began assembling what American dancer Loie Fuller called “the greatest collection of perfect Rodins in the world”; the museum’s holdings remain among the finest pieces made during the artist’s lifetime.

“The Spreckels purchased works directly from Rodin’s studio, many of which are the original plaster models, or are works that were cast or carved with the direct supervision of Rodin himself – a distinction not found in many American Rodin collections.”

“The collection held at the Legion of Honor is exceptional because of how and when the works were acquired,” says Martin Chapman, curator in charge of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture for the Fine Arts Museums.

 

 

Objects in bronze, marble, and plaster
All from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s permanent collection
will be presented in a new context.

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LEFT: Auguste Rodin, “The Age of Bronze,” ca. 1875–1877. Bronze, 71 1/2 x 21 1/4 x 25 1/2 in. (181.6 x 54 x 64.8 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San FRancisco, Gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, 1940.141.RIGHT: Auguste Rodin, “St. John the Baptist Preaching” (Saint Jean-Baptiste prechant), 1878. Alexis Rudier Fondeur. Bronze, 201.9 x 131.1 x 98.1 cm (79 1/2 x 51 5/8 x 38 5/8 in.). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, 1940.140

The exhibition will examine the artist’s celebrated life
and influential work

From his early days courting controversy with sculptures that bore unexpected levels of naturalism, to his later renown and lasting influence. Rodin Centenary is part of a worldwide series of major Rodin projects and will provide audiences a significant opportunity to examine and recontextualize the legacy of the artist known as “the father of modern sculpture.”

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LEFT: Auguste Rodin, “The Kiss” (Le Baiser), ca. 1884. Bronze, 59.1 x 36.2 x 37.9 cm (23 1/4 x 14 1/4 x 14 15/16 in.). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, 1941.34.8RIGHT: Auguste Rodin, “Pierre de Wiessant” (reduction of one of the Burghers of Calais), 1885-1886. Alexis Rudier Fondeur. Bronze, 45.1 x 22.7 x 22.7 cm (17 3/4 x 8 15/16 x 8 15/16 in.). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, 1941.34.15

One of the Rodin finest and most significant collections
in the United States

“This exhibition will surprise visitors and inspire dialogue on Rodin and his impact on artists working today. It is a must-see for anyone who thinks there is nothing left to learn about this towering figure in the history of Modern Art.” states Max Hollein, Director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums.

The exhibition will include pieces relating to Rodin’s most ambitious commissions The Burghers of Calais and The Gates of Hell, which included his most famous sculpture, The Thinker—now a beloved, iconic emblem of the Legion of Honor.

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LEFT: Auguste Rodin, “Henri Rochefort,” 1884–1886. Alexis Rudier Fondeur. Bronze On Marble Base, 70.2 x 41 x 38.6 cm (27 5/8 x 16 1/8 x 15 3/16 in.). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, 1941.34.4
RIGHT: Auguste Rodin, “Head of Pierre de Wiessant (from the Burghers of Calais),” ca. 1885–1886. Plaster, 28.9 x 21.9 x 24.3 cm (11 3/8 x 8 5/8 x 9 9/16 in.). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Adolph B. Spreckels, Jr., 1933.12.11

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LEFT: Auguste Rodin, “The Call to Arms” (L’Appel aux Armes), 1879. Alexis Rudier Fondeur. Bronze, 113 x 57.8 x 40.5 cm (44 1/2 x 22 3/4 x 15 15/16 in.). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, 1940.138RIGHT: Auguste Rodin, “The Thinker,” c. 1880, cast c. 1904. Bronze, 182.9 x 96.5 x 137.2 cm (72 x 38 x 54 in.). Signed: A Rodin; stamped: Alexis Rudier / Fondeur, Paris. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels

Two dimensions of Rodin’s work

The exhibition explore that often remain underappreciated: the melodrama of mortality that haunts his portrayal of historical figures, such as The Burghers of Calais and the apocalyptic vision of Dante’s Inferno, and his palpable eroticism, only barely veiled by mythological and religious subject matter, such as Christ and the Magdalene.

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Auguste Rodin, “The Gates of Hell,” modeled 1880–1917; cast 1928. Cast by Alexis Rudier, Paris. Bronze, 250 3/4 x 158 x 33 3/8 in (636.9 x 401.3 x 84.8 cm). Rodin Museum, Philadelphia, Bequest of Jules E. Mastbaum, 1929. Photo: The Philadelphia Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY

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LEFT: Auguste Rodin, “Christ and the Magdalene” (Le Christ et la Madeleine), ca. 1894. Plaster, 104.1 x 58.4 x 68.6 cm (41 x 23 x 27 in.). Fine arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, 1949.18RIGHT: Auguste Rodin, “Head of Mademoiselle Camille Claudel,” 1885–1895. Plaster, 25.4 x 15.2 x 18.4 cm (10 x 6 x 7 1/4 in.). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Adolph B. Spreckels, Jr., 1933.12.7

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LEFT: Auguste Rodin, “Nude Study for Eustache de Saint-Pierre,” 1887. Georges Rudier Fondeur. Bronze, 97.8 x 31.8 x 38.1 cm (38 1/2 x 12 1/2 x 15 in.). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of B. Gerald Cantor, 1968.7RIGHT: Auguste Rodin, “Bust of Victor Hugo,” ca. 1917. Marble, 105.4 x 106.4 x 69.9 cm (41 1/2 x 41 7/8 x 27 1/2 in.). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Anonymous Gift, 1962.28


rodin-victor hugo

Auguste Rodin, “Victor Hugo,” 1883. Bronze With Marble Base, 40.3 x 26.5 x 23.8 cm (15 7/8 x 10 7/16 x 9 3/8 in.). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, 1942.37

 

rodin_miss eve fairfax

Auguste Rodin, “Miss Eve Fairfax (La Nature),” ca 1907. Marble, 57.5 x 68.9 x 51.1 cm (22 5/8 x 27 1/8 x 20 1/8 in.). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, 1941.34.17

 

rodin-three-faunesses

Auguste Rodin, “Three Faunesses (Les Tres Faunesses), 1900. Plaster, 9 3/8 x 12 15/16 x 6 1/2 in.. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Adolph B. Spreckels, Jr., 1933.12.5


rodin-hand

Auguste Rodin, “The Mighty Hand (Main Crispee),” ca. 1880. Bronze, 18 x 12 3/8 x 7 9/16 (45.7 x 31.4 x 19.2 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, 1942.39

Curator Statement

“Rodin’s naturalist conception of the body and his embrace of the fragment as a motif in its own right deeply influenced the trajectory of modern sculpture,” says Claudia Schmuckli, curator in charge of Contemporary Art and Programming for the Fine Arts Museums. The exhibition is curated by Martin Chapman and Claudia Schmuckli and will run from January 28—December 31, 2017 at the Legion of Honor.

Catalogue

The Museums will publish a scholarly catalogue The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin at the Legion of Honor, which will feature highlights of the collection to accompany the rotations in 2017. The publication will include an introductory essay by Martin Chapman and brief texts on the major themes of Rodin’s work as revealed in the Museums’ holdings, alongside new photography specially commissioned for the project. The book will publish in hardcover, and will be 160 pages in length with a retail price of $34.95.

Organizer

Exhibition Organization This exhibition is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Sponsors

John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn. The exhibition catalogue is published with the assistance of
the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment for Publications.

LEGION OF HONOR
Lincoln Park, 100 34th Avenue, San Francisco.
Open 9:30 a.m.– 5:15 p.m. Tuesdays–Sundays. Open select holidays; closed most Mondays. legionofhonor.famsf.org/legion/visiting

 

About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising The Young in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, are the largest public arts institution in San Francisco.
The Legion of Honor was inspired by the French pavilion at San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 and, like that structure, was modeled after the neoclassical Palais de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris. The museum, designed by George Applegarth, opened in 1924 on a bluff in Lincoln Park overlooking the Golden Gate. Its holdings span 4,000 years and include European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; ancient art from the Mediterranean basin; and the largest collection of works on paper in the American West.

Libros