Rodin Museum
Rodin Museum
Philadelphia, PA
Premium Ad Space
Balzac in a Frock Coat, Leaning against a Pile of Books
Permanent Collection
Auguste Rodin, French, 1840 - 1917
The Crouching Woman,
Modeled 1881-1882, enlarged 1906-1908; cast 1925
Bronze, 33 x 21 x 18 inches
Bequest of Jules E. Mastbaum, 1929
Auguste Rodin, French, 1840 - 1917
Bas-relief for "The Gates of Hell" (right side)
Made in France, Europe, Modeled c.1882-85; cast 1925
Cast by the foundry Alexis Rudier, Paris, 1874 - 1952
Bronze, 12 1/2 x 43 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches (31.8 x 110.5 x 15.9 cm)
F1929-7-83b, Bequest of Jules E. Mastbaum, 1929
Permanent Collection
Auguste Rodin, French, 1840 - 1917
The Athlete,
Modeled 1904; cast 1904
16 1/8 x 10 9/16 x 9 15/16 inches
The Samuel S. White 3rd and Vera White Collection, 1967
The Athlete
Eugène Guillaume
Permanent Collection
Auguste Rodin, French, 1840 - 1917
Eugène Guillaume,
Modeled 1903; cast 1925
19 3/4 x 19 3/8 x 10 7/8 inches
Bequest of Jules E. Mastbaum, 1929
Permanent Collection
Auguste Rodin, French, 1840 - 1917
Victor Hugo
Modeled 1883; plaster made in 1886
Plaster, 22 1/4 x 10 x 11 1/2 inches
Bequest of Jules E. Mastbaum, 1929
Victor Hugo
Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.
Rodin Museum
2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
administered by The Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 763-8100

Coronavirus -19 Reopening Information:

Visiting, Safety Procedures, Hours, Admission

Planning Your Visit
Come and experience the Rodin Museum throughout the year. There are a variety of activities and ways to engage with the artworks, as you make new discoveries in the galleries each time you visit. Learn about Auguste Rodin and his large body of work, find out how this extraordinary Museum found a home in Philadelphia, explore the advances in conservation that have contributed to scholarship on the artist, and see the collection displayed in new ways.

As one of the most revered destinations on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Rodin Museum offers a verdant, intimate setting in which to enjoy some of the world's most renowned masterpieces of sculpture. For the tens of thousands who visit each year, the Museum provides a momentary retreat from urban life in the heart of the city.

About Auguste Rodin
In a career that spanned the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Auguste Rodin (French, 1840–1917) was deeply inspired by tradition yet rebelled against its idealized forms, introducing innovative practices that paved the way for modern sculpture. He believed that art should be true to nature, a philosophy that shaped his attitudes to models and materials

About the Rodin Museum
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.

Since 1929, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has administered the Rodin Museum and its collection. Over the years, several large sculptures originally installed outdoors were taken inside to protect them from the elements, and the original plantings became overgrown. The building, its galleries, and its grounds have been renovated to restore the Museum to its original vision, and new conservation treatments have made it possible to return sculptures to their intended places in the garden. The Museum has reopened with an inaugural installation dedicated to The Gates of Hell, the defining project of Rodin's career and one that consumed him for almost four decades.

An important part of visiting the Rodin Museum is experiencing the garden, which recently underwent a three-year rejuvenation effort supported by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the City of Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, and generous public and private funders. The project was conceived and overseen by the landscape architecture firm OLIN and follows the spirit of the original plans by Cret and Gréber.

The Museum Collection

With over 140 bronzes, marbles, and plasters, the distinguished collection housed in the Rodin Museum represents every phase of Auguste Rodin's career. Located on Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway—which was intended to evoke the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris—the elegant Beaux-Arts–style building and garden offer an absorbing indoor and outdoor experience.

On View in the Garden
The garden outside the Museum now displays a total of eight works. While The Thinker and The Gates of Hell have stood in their same locations since the Museum opened in 1929, recent advances in conservation undertaken by the Philadelphia Museum of Art have permitted the return of Adam and The Shade to their original places within the arches of the Meudon Gate for the first time since 1963. The Age of Bronze and Eve have also returned to the niches they once occupied on either side of the Museum's portico overlooking the reflecting pool. To the east of the building, The Burghers of Calais can once again be seen in the semicircular garden where it stood until 1955. On the building's west side, a space vacant for most of the last eighty-three years now contains a version of the monumental The Three Shades, a generous loan from Iris and B. Gerald Cantor.

On View in the Galleries
On View in the Galleries
The Rodin Museum recently underwent a full-scale reinstallation focusing on the artist’s portraits. For Auguste Rodin, working with a living, breathing model was essential—it enabled him to study the anatomy, facial expressions, and personality of his subject. When he hired models to pose for him, he asked them to move freely in the studio and was most inspired by their unguarded, unrestrained movements. In his portraits of political figures, writers, and artists, Rodin took measurements of their heads and studied their neck and shoulders. Some individuals were uncomfortable with this scrutiny, but Rodin’s aim was to understand and know his subjects intimately so that he could convey their character.

Rodin’s portraits were prized in his lifetime for their vitality and honesty, and they continue to offer fascinating insights into his working practice. The works on view include such renowned subjects as Honoré de Balzac and Victor Hugo, the women in Rodin’s life including Rose Beuret and Camille Claudel, and several works that haven’t been exhibited for many years. This reinstallation presents the opportunity to appreciate Rodin’s prolific and complicated artistic process from a fresh perspective.

The Maneely Family Gallery focuses on a series of works honoring writer Honoré de Balzac (French, 1799–1850). The sculptor spent most of the 1890s working on more than fifty different studies for the statue. His initial interest in a realistic portrayal of Balzac soon evolved into a broader concern with capturing the essence of the author's creative genius. When a model for the final sculpture was presented in 1898 it immediately drew criticism as being undignified and incomplete, but the artist refused to make changes to the portrait, which he regarded as one of his finest works. In 1939, twenty-two years after Rodin’s death, the monument was finally erected in Paris at the corner of boulevards Raspail and Montparnasse.

The Zoë and Dean Pappas Gallery houses several of Rodin’s studies for major public monuments. In the late nineteenth century the French Third Republic sought to bolster its legitimacy by commissioning large-scale public art projects to commemorate individuals vital to the nation’s political and cultural life. Like many sculptors Rodin eagerly entered these competitions, recognizing them as a critical means of establishing his reputation and advancing his artistic ideas. His proposals were often bold and unconventional since he preferred to emphasize the humanity of his subjects rather than their heroic qualities or achievements. While many of the sculptor’s submissions were rejected or realized only with significant changes, the works found in the northeast gallery represent a powerful component of Rodin’s oeuvre and had a profound effect on public sculpture for decades to come.

The Rodin Museum also includes works focusing on the towering bronze doors inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy that have occupied the building’s portico since 1929. In 1880 Rodin received a commission to create The Gates of Hell for a new decorative arts museum that was going to be built in Paris. Though the museum was never realized, The Gates became the seminal work of Rodin’s career and a key to understanding his artistic aims. Left in plaster at Rodin’s death in 1917, the first bronze casts of The Gates of Hell were made for Jules Mastbaum, the founder of the Rodin Museum; one appears here and the second was given to the Musée Rodin in Paris.

Some of Rodin’s most famous works were originally conceived as part of The Gates and were only later removed, enlarged, and cast as independent works. The Thinker evolved from the focal point atop The Gates into a freestanding sculpture. Though the monumental-sized Thinker maintains its prominent place in the garden, a smaller version can be seen in this gallery. Also on view is Copy of Rodin’s “The Kiss,” a marble depicting doomed lovers Paolo and Francesca, who reside in the second circle of hell in The Divine Comedy. Created especially for the Museum by sculptor Henri Gréber (French, 1855–1941), Copy of Rodin’s “The Kiss” suits the main gallery of the Rodin Museum exceptionally well, and demonstrates Jules Mastbaum’s vision for the Museum as a place where the breadth of Rodin’s work could become more widely known and appreciated.

previous museum
Support Your Local Galleries and Museums! They Are Economic Engines for Your Community.

Subscribe to Our Free Weekly Email Newsletter!

Copyright 2015 Art Museum Touring.com