A visit to the Rodin Museum

Posted by in Art History, Featured, Museums | 0 comments

The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia houses the largest collection of Auguste Rodin’s sculptures outside of Paris. Jules Mastbaum, a native of Philadelphia who made his fortune in the burgeoning movie theater business, founded the museum. Mastbaum began collecting works by Rodin in 1923, with the intention of leaving the works to his beloved city.

In 1926, Mastbaum commissioned French architects Paul Cret and Jacques Greber to design the Rodin museum. The museum was inaugurated on November 29, 1929, after Mastbaums death.


Rodin Museum
A visit to the Rodin Museum


According to the website:

In the 1920s the City of Philadelphia was in the midst of creating the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as a great civic space. The Free Library of Philadelphia opened its central Logan Square location in 1927, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s main building was opened to the public the following year. Nestled between these two public destinations on the Parkway, the intimately scaled Rodin Museum opened in November 1929. A unique ensemble of Beaux-Arts architecture and a formal French garden in which to experience the sculpture of Auguste Rodin, the Museum was designed by French architect Paul Cret (1876–1945) and French landscape designer Jacques Gréber (1882–1962). Its founder, the entrepreneur and philanthropist Jules E. Mastbaum, gave the Museum to his native city as a gift and it was immediately embraced and celebrated, drawing over 390,000 visitors in its first year. Today, it is one of the defining icons of the city, housing one of the most comprehensive public collections of work outside Paris by one of the world’s most renowned sculptors.

The museum concluded a 9 million dollar renovation in 2012, reopening the glorious museum 3 years after it closed for the renovation to bring it back to it’s original 1929 condition.

The Museum houses over 140 bronzes, marble, and plaster artworks, spanning Rodin’s career.

Can’t visit the museum anytime soon?

The website of the Rodin Museum has a fantastic collection gallery on view. Over 140 images of the collection are featured, including pertinent information about the work.  The website also curates the collection on it’s section entitled, “Explore Collection Themes.” The themes on the website are “About Auguste Rodin,” “Bronze casting”, “Museum History,” and “The Gates of Hell.”

Rodin Museum

Rodin Museum website

The Rodin Museum also has a fantastic app for the iphone or ipad with images of the sculptures from the museum. The app contains audio to educate the viewer about some of Rodin’s most famous sculptures. Did I mention that the app is FREE?

Rodin app       Rodin app close up

Click here for the link to the free Rodin Museum app. This is a great way to visit the museum without leaving your home!


What do you think about Rodin’s sculptures?


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