Rodin Museum

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Benjamin Franklin Pkwy at 22nd St, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Rodin Museum Philadelphia Reviews

vances vances
581 reviews
Bust Trusters Mar 05, 2017
Not many folks realize there is another Rodin Museum beyond Paris. I am here to share it is alive and well and has been living in Philadelphia since 1929. This beautiful space was donated by a local (Jules Mastbaum) who opened the very first nickelodeon in Philadelphia and subsequently reaped a fortune through movie theaters. Although the donor passed away before his museum was realized, all the pieces were in place and his widow saw things through to completion. Timing could not have been better for the French connection, because Mastbaum had commissioned Jacques Gréber to design the grounds for the museum while the landscape architect was also converting the city’s Logan Square into a circle reminiscent of Champs-Élysées.

Mastbaum had only begun collecting Rodin pieces shortly before his death, but quickly amassed the largest collection beyond Paris and had plenty to stock the shelves with. The building and grounds are a lovely complement to Rodin’s brilliance. On the fringes of the grounds you are greeted by the Thinker and this would herald an educational experience. My first thought was “reproduction”, but I would shortly learn the figure here came from the first batch of bronze castings of the masterpiece. Together there are twenty-eight, without any single rendering owning title to being the “original”.

The lesson would be reinforced as I contemplated the colossal “Gates of Hell” greeting you at the entrance. Rodin had been commissioned to create a doorway themed after Dante’s Inferno for a proposed Paris art museum in 1880, with a completion deadline of 1885. The museum never opened, but Rodin became obsessed and labored on it for 37 years until his death – integrating more than 100 images into the piece. It was not until several years after Rodin’s passing that several bronze castings were rendered (beyond here and Paris, Tokyo is home to the third). Miniatures of both the Thinker and the Kiss are embedded in the “Gates of Hell” and I was stunned to learn both works were conceived during Rodin’s labor on the door!

Several more lessons and a lot more beauty would come by once we entered. Admission is strictly by donation, whatever amount you are comfortable with. The interior is tastefully presented and a wonder to tour. Mastbaum had accumulated over 200 Rodin pieces during his few years of rabid accumulation and was even granted the rights to commission a marble copy of the Kiss explicitly for the museum.

2017 is the 100th anniversary of Rodin’s passing and many special events are planned for the months ahead, both here and at the Paris venue. There is no doubt Rodin created busts you can trust, so I encourage everyone to delve into the bounty of beauty this gifted maestro created during this somewhat sad commemorative year.
I think I will enter this fine mus…
Looking from the front of the muse…
The Gates of Hell welcome you insi…
The 'Thinker' debuted sitting atop…
6 / 6 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
spocklogic says:
Nice looking collection and recognize some pieces similar to ones in Europe. Rodin I guess made multiple copies of his works with various variations on a theme.
Posted on: Apr 18, 2017
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andrejav andrejav
751 reviews
Rodin Museum Jul 19, 2013
Rodin Museum is a small, purposely built place on the Philly’s Franklin parkway where most of the museums are. Large “the thinker” statue greats you before entering garden that looks like French aristocracy gardens. Rodin’s Gates to Hell composition (he made this huge door for the cathedral that was never made, so he used some parts as a separate statues) is at the entrance to the building, also featuring “thinker” that was originally the part of the door. Entrance fees are suggested so you don’t need to pay full price, but whatever you’d like. Museum features models, granite and casted sculptures. It has some of the finest sculptures that Rodin made, and it is well worth visiting.
lulusartshack lulusart…
50 reviews
Biggest Rodin collection outside of Paris Oct 10, 2008
The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia is the largest collectino of the sculptor's works outside of Paris. Best known for his sculpture, "The Thinker," the museum houses over 100 bronze casts, plaster sculptures and drawings. "The Burghers of Calais" is a huge historical tribute, where the most interesting hands, feets and faces were peiced together to create the final work. Auguste Rodin's fascination with hands and the emotions hands depict is also refelcted in the museum's collection, with works such as "The Clenched Hand," "The Temple," and "The Secret." My favorites of the museum are the collection of busts of famous writers, artists, politicians in the back room and "The Age of Bronze," a statue so life-like it caused a scandal when it was first unveiled because it was believed Rodin cast it directly from a living person.

The museum also allows photography, as long as there is no use of flash, strobe or tripods (which is no big deal, since there is plenty of natural light). There are plenty of shady benches to relax on in the serene gardens outside as well. It is definitely worth the $3 to while away a couple of hours.
Outside gardens at Rodin Museum
"Eternal Springtime" at Rodin Muse…
"Kneeling Fauness" at Rodin Museum
Bust detail of "Burghers of Calais…

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