Rodin’s exhibition opens at the Polk Museum of Art on Saturday

Works of the most famous name in contemporary sculpture have taken their seats in the exhibition halls of the Polk Museum of Art in Florida South College, waiting for the public to see them, starting Saturday, when the doors open at 10 a.m.

“Born: Contemplation and Dream – Selections from the Collections of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor” is the largest sculptural installation the museum has ever made. It fills both main exhibition halls with 45 bronze products, small and large, by Auguste Rodin. The French artist died 105 years ago and has long been known as the greatest sculptor of the 19th and the beginning of the 20thyou centuries.

“A lot of people when they come to see this amazing exhibit here at the Polk Museum, they’ll be amazed that this work is right here in Lakeland, right here in Polk County,” said Alex Rich, the museum’s executive director and chief curator. . “This is an incredible opportunity for everyone in our region to see sculptures they will never see anywhere else. And certainly nowhere in the area. ”

Rich said he has worked on presenting the exhibit at the museum for the past three years, talking to the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation in Stanford, California, and the Votum Foundation, one of the main sponsors of the exhibition, along with Culture Builds Florida and visit Central Florida. Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation is a partner of the exhibition.

“Auguste Rodin is perhaps the most famous sculptor after Michelangelo,” Rich said. “Everyone knows Michelangelo’s David, I would say that next to David, Rodin is well known for his really famous sculptures” The Thinker “,” Gates of Hell “,” The Three Shades “.

As the Thinker sits and contemplates in his permanent garden home at the Musée Rodin in Paris, there is a small version of it included in one of the pieces. Rich challenges visitors to find him.

A study of The Three Shades is in the Polk Museum of Art, as well as a small study of The Gates of Hell, which depicts a scene from the epic poem Hell, part of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. ”

Kimberly S. Moore LkldNow Auguste Rodin’s bronze sculpture “Claude Lauren” weighs 950 pounds.

The largest and heaviest piece is Claude Lauren, which stands on its pedestal near the main entrance of the exhibition and weighs 950 pounds. Several of the pieces depict naked men and women.

Rich said it took Matt Belcher, the museum’s designer and design manager, a month to prepare and install each piece. Each of them was taken out of its individual wooden transport crate, carefully removed from the transport platform by means of a mechanical elevator and then placed on a specially built pedestal, made only for the exhibition. They then planned where to put each piece in the galleries to compliment each other and tell the whole story of Rodin’s masterpieces. See the process here.

Rich said he wasn’t sure how many people would wander their galleries to view the bronze figures, but expected many visitors from Saturday until the show closes on Oct. 30, just as they had for Degas’ exhibition last year and the recent Highwaymen exhibition. .

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