Rodin Museum, Philadelphia

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  • Sue08080's Profile Photo

    Second only to Paris

    by Sue08080 Updated Jun 12, 2006

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    The Rodin Museum, on the Parkway in Philadelphia, is second only to the Rodin Museum in Paris for the number of sculptures by the famed French artist. The Museum is home to 128 sculptures, including The Thinker, perhaps the most famous sculpture in the world.

    The building itself is like a tiny jewel box, with a formal garden, lily pool, and bird sanctuary. The portico contains the original casting of "The Gates of Hell".

    Other figures include "The Burghers of Calais," "Adam," "Eve," and "Saint John the Baptist Preaching." There are also busts of Mahler. Balzac, Shaw, and Victor Hugo.

    The Museum was given to the city by Jules Mastbaum, a theatrical magnate, nearly 100 years ago.

    Recording for daily events - 215-684-7500

    Rodin's Thinker, brochure photo
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  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo

    RODIN...........

    by Pawtuxet Updated Dec 16, 2004

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    The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia is a small but rich collection of Rodin's work. In fact, it is the largest collection of his work in the United States. Of course he is known for "the thinker" but you will see a number of familiar sculptures displayed very nicely in a handsome building.

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  • acemj's Profile Photo

    Rodin Museum

    by acemj Written Jan 22, 2005

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    This place is only a few blocks from my house and admission is by donation (suggested donation is $3, but no one is watching!), so I've been a few times. I'm not an especially huge fan of Rodin, but this small museum is in an interesting building and the collection does a good job of presenting the famous French sculptor as a genius in relating human emotion through his work. The museum was a gift to the city of Philadelphia from Jules Mastbaum a rich movie mogul who began collecting Rodin's work in the 1920s. The museum opened in 1929.

    My favorite piece in the museum is actually the first thing you'll see. It's the huge door that will greet you when you enter called "The Gates of Hell". Rodin worked on it from 1880 until his death in 1917.

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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    Rodin Museum

    by richiecdisc Written Mar 12, 2010

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    The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia was the brainchild of philanthropist Jules E. Mastbaum who amassed the largest collection of the famed sculptor's works outside of his native Paris. The building itself is a Neoclassical work of art as designed by two French architects commissioned by Mastbaum who unfortunately did not live to see its opening in 1929. Particularly stunning is the reflection pool in serene gardens leading up to its entrance.

    How I lived in Philadelphia for my first 12 years and nearby for another 20 without ever so much as thinking about going here is beyond me now but thankfully my wife wanted to do go on a number of our recent visits and made me commit to it the last time around. I am very happy she did. It was wonderful. I have never been a huge fan of sculptor though even a nitwit of the art form would have a hard time arguing with the name Rodin. The Thinker. Can't get much headier than that, now can you? Actually, there were quite a few very moving pieces including his culminating work, The Gates of Hell. The building was stunning, the gardens very relaxing despite being right in the middle of town, and the overall experience, world class art museum visit. It makes you proud to be a Philadelphian. If you have never been, by all means go. It's free though a $5 donation is suggested.

    the reflection pool The Thinker from the rear The Thinker, head on The Thinker Sideways
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  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    Rodin Museum: French Sculpture and cheesesteak

    by spgood301 Written Jan 22, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    No, you can't get a cheesesteak at Philly's Rodin Museum, but it it a touch of Paris in the City of Brotherly Love. The Rodin Museum is quite small, but it's rich in some of Rodin's best works. In fact, it has the largest collection of Rodin works outside Paris. Works in bronze, works in plaster, works big and works small, you'll see it all at the Rodin Museum.

    My favorite sculpture was "The Burghers of Calais". It's a huge sculpture in the middle of the museum, that tells the story of six brave men who volunteered to go to their deaths during a British siege in Calais, France. The varied expressions on the mens' faces are so haunting, so realistic that you feel like you're right there with them. And as the story goes, the British authorities were so moved by their bravery that they spared the mens' lives. Quite a story, and just like behind many of the beautiful sculptures you'll find here.

    The Rodin Museum is indeed small, only one story. You'll need no more than 1 1/2 hours to see it all. There's no admission charge but a "suggested donation" of $3. Pretty darn cheap for all this wonderful art.

    Now, what's a museum dedicated to Rodin doing in Philadelphia? Well, a theater magnate named Jules Mastbaum had a huge collection of Rodin's works that he dedicated to his hometown upon his death in 1926. The Rodin Museum has been a Philly fixture ever since. It's near the Philadelphia Museum of Art, right in the "museum district", and well worth a visit.

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  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Expressly Made

    by solopes Updated Dec 17, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Halfway of Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a building was built to expose the private collection of Jules Matbaum, donated to the city.

    It's the largest collection of Rodin outside Europe and it's easily accessed by all the touristic transportation. We had no time to enter!

    Philadelphia - USA
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  • nicolettart's Profile Photo

    More Than The Thinker

    by nicolettart Written Feb 25, 2005

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    If you are not into art or going to a museum, at least go here. It's a little oasis! You will encounter a small reflecting pool upon entering the courtyard. One of the first pieces you will see is Rodin's The Gates of Hell, an imposing piece of sculpture. The entire colection is do-able in about half and hour. There is also a small gift shop, where I bought this cool little notebook shaped like the Thinker. Corny, I know. But I couldn't resist.

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  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    Rodin Museum: French Sculpture and cheesesteak

    by spgood301 Written Jan 22, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    No, you can't get a cheesesteak at Philly's Rodin Museum, but it it a touch of Paris in the City of Brotherly Love. The Rodin Museum is quite small, but it's rich in some of Rodin's best works. In fact, it has the largest collection of Rodin works outside Paris. Works in bronze, works in plaster, works big and works small, you'll see it all at the Rodin Museum.

    My favorite sculpture was "The Burghers of Calais". It's a huge sculpture in the middle of the museum, that tells the story of six brave men who volunteered to go to their deaths during a British siege in Calais, France. The varied expressions on the mens' faces are so haunting, so realistic that you feel like you're right there with them. And as the story goes, the British authorities were so moved by their bravery that they spared the mens' lives. Quite a story, and just like behind many of the beautiful sculptures you'll find here.

    The Rodin Museum is indeed small, only one story. You'll need no more than 1 1/2 hours to see it all. There's no admission charge but a "suggested donation" of $3. Pretty darn cheap for all this wonderful art.

    Now, what's a museum dedicated to Rodin doing in Philadelphia? Well, a theater magnate named Jules Mastbaum had a huge collection of Rodin's works that he dedicated to his hometown upon his death in 1926. The Rodin Museum has been a Philly fixture ever since. It's near the Philadelphia Museum of Art, right in the "museum district", and well worth a visit.

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  • Peterodl's Profile Photo

    Rodin Museum

    by Peterodl Written Feb 27, 2009

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    Built in 1929, the Rodin museum houses a collection gathered by Jules Mastbaum.
    The collection is amazing and is free to see but a contribution of $5 is suggested.

    Free guided tours are given at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday, and on the first and third Saturdays of the month

    Tuesday through Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
    Closed Mondays and holidays.

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  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    America's Rodin Museum

    by Tom_Fields Written Sep 26, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The great French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) produced some of the finest works of art ever seen. The Rodin Museum in Paris is one of that city's best attractions. Not only does it have an impressive collection of art, but it also has very nice garden.

    But Philadelphia has its own Rodin museum, too. Designed by French architects Paul Cret and Jacques Gréber, it rivals the one in Paris. It opened in 1929, financed by movie theater magnate Jules Mastbaum.

    It's conveniently located near the Art Museum, so one can easily visit both during a day.

    The Rodin Museum Inside the main gallery The Gates of Hell Rodin's most famous work, The Thinker The gardens
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  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    Rodin Museum: French Sculpture and cheesesteak

    by spgood301 Written Jan 22, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    No, you can't get a cheesesteak at Philly's Rodin Museum, but it it a touch of Paris in the City of Brotherly Love. The Rodin Museum is quite small, but it's rich in some of Rodin's best works. In fact, it has the largest collection of Rodin works outside Paris. Works in bronze, works in plaster, works big and works small, you'll see it all at the Rodin Museum.

    My favorite sculpture was "The Burghers of Calais". It's a huge sculpture in the middle of the museum, that tells the story of six brave men who volunteered to go to their deaths during a British siege in Calais, France. The varied expressions on the mens' faces are so haunting, so realistic that you feel like you're right there with them. And as the story goes, the British authorities were so moved by their bravery that they spared the mens' lives. Quite a story, and just like behind many of the beautiful sculptures you'll find here.

    The Rodin Museum is indeed small, only one story. You'll need no more than 1 1/2 hours to see it all. There's no admission charge but a "suggested donation" of $3. Pretty darn cheap for all this wonderful art.

    Now, what's a museum dedicated to Rodin doing in Philadelphia? Well, a theater magnate named Jules Mastbaum had a huge collection of Rodin's works that he dedicated to his hometown upon his death in 1926. The Rodin Museum has been a Philly fixture ever since. It's near the Philadelphia Museum of Art, right in the "museum district", and well worth a visit.

    Cheesesteak, Tasteekake and Rodin. I love Philly!!!

    The Rodin Museum, Philadelphia Just inside the Rodin Museum, Philadelphia Rodin Museum:  Can't you see I'm thinking!!!
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  • apbeaches's Profile Photo

    Rodin Museum

    by apbeaches Written Nov 30, 2014

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    The museum contains over 140 bronzes, marbles, and plasters, the distinguished collection housed in the Rodin Museum represents every phase of Auguste Rodin's career. It's 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.

    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. 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.

    The inaugural installation of the restored Rodin Museum includes nearly thirty 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.

    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 northwest 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.

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  • cruisingbug's Profile Photo

    Rodin in Philly

    by cruisingbug Written Jan 25, 2005

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    Philadelphia is rife with history, but the City of Brotherly Love also loves the arts. The Rodin Museum is a stunning collection of some of the sculptor's best work. The bronze casts are made from Rodin's molds - a unique process which is explained in the museum.

    Before you even step inside, you're immersed in Rodin's works. "The Thinker" reflects outside along a pathway, and the doors are fully sculpted as "The Gates of Hell". Inside are sculptures ranging from "The Burghers of Calais" to "The Hand of God" - with so many, it's almost hard to take a moment to reflect on each individual piece.

    The Burghers of Calais, Rodin Museum, Philadelphia
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  • danbachmann's Profile Photo

    Rodin Museum (with the self...

    by danbachmann Updated Aug 24, 2002

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    Rodin Museum (with the self guided audio tour if you are new to Rodin)
    I spent a good
    amount of time
    in the Rodin Museum;
    however, it is
    not a part of
    Fairmont Park.
    This collection
    of large
    Auguste Rodin
    sculptures (his
    most famous
    being The
    Thinker), were
    collected and
    cast for Jules E.
    Mastbaum who
    made his
    money in the
    early motion
    picture
    business. There
    are 124
    sculptures to
    admire. If
    you've got the
    time, I'd
    suggest taking a
    look at each of
    them and see
    what you see in
    the faces and
    figures, then
    take the self
    guided audio
    tour (well
    worth it) and
    learn what
    Rodin was
    trying to
    portray.

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  • oaktreehouse4's Profile Photo

    Stay and sit for a spell

    by oaktreehouse4 Written Mar 12, 2010

    Being a big fan of Rodin this is one of my favorite places. There is a "Thinker" outside, a great photo op. Before you enter a "Gate of Hell" will greet you. Spend some time looking at each section of the gate.

    Inside there are several small rooms which you can easily peruse before you sit down and just glaze at the big center sculpture "The Burghers of Calais". I like to walk around it before I sit down. There are many different seats so I move often looking at each angle.

    Since the museum is air conditioned this is a great place to rest in Summer. There is a nice garden outside to picnic at. A small gift shop inside but no food. I didn't see any food vendors or stores near so shop before you come.

    It is free on Sundays before a certain hour, only asking for a donation.

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