The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA, sent us the following press release:
While there has been much consideration of Auguste Rodin’s reputation in France and throughout Europe, less attention has been paid to his legacy in the United States. Organized by the Clark Art Institute, “Rodin in the United States: Confronting the Modern,” presents one of the largest Rodin exhibitions in the United States in the last forty years. Featuring some 50 sculptures and 25 drawings, including both familiar masterpieces and lesser-known works of the highest quality, the exhibition tells the story of the collectors, agents, art historians, and critics who endeavored to make Rodin known in America and considers the artist’s influence and reputation in the U.S. from 1893 to the present.
Rodin in the United States is on view at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, through September 18, 2022. The exhibition will then travel to the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, where it will be on view from October 21, 2022, to January 15, 2023.
“This summer’s exhibition is an exciting opportunity for us to present a significant collection of many of Rodin’s most important sculptures and drawings and to share the story of the early years when his art was first being added to American museum collections” said Olivier Meslay, Hardymon Director of the Clark. “We will explore the ebb and flow of Rodin’s (1840–1917) reputation over the last 125 years as the tastes of the time and curatorial interests evolved, and we will look at the influence of a fascinating group of Rodin’s supporters and critics.”
The exhibition explores changing perceptions of the sculptor’s work, beginning with the first acquisition made by an American institution—the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1893—and Rodin’s controversial debut at Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition in the same year.
The exhibition examines the collecting frenzy of the early twentieth century.
In the 1920s and 1930s many museums made important acquisitions of Rodin’s work, further fueling avid interest in the artist. By the 1940s and 1950s, the early enthusiasm had waned, and, in the words of art historian Leo Steinberg, Rodin’s reputation was “in full decline.” The exhibition further explores another shift in Rodin’s reputation in the 1980s that renewed the celebration of the artist which continues to the present day.
“The United States is, after France, the country where Rodin is best represented in sculpture—terra cotta, plaster, marble, or bronze—as well as in drawing,“ said Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, Rodin scholar and guest curator of the exhibition. “The history of these collections, whether public or private, constitutes a history of taste whose vagaries form part of the history of modernity, represented in painting by the Impressionists, who we must not forget were Rodin’s contemporaries and some of whom, like Claude Monet, were his friends.”
Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA: “Rodin in the United States: Confronting the Modern” through September 18, 2022
(30.06.2022, USA: 06.30.2022)