Published: August 21, 2007
The William Benton Museum of Art will present the exhibition, “Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession: Sculpture from The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation,” on view September 8⁄ecember 16.
The exhibition, which has been shared with museum audiences around the world, presents 68 of Auguste Rodin’s bronzes, ranging from monumental works to maquettes, along with a selection of photographs, works on paper, and documents. The exhibition explores both the creative and technical processes and offers an interdisciplinary and multimedia approach to in-gallery interpretation.
All works in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collection and Cantor Foundation Collection are original Rodins. Some of these were made during Rodin’s lifetime; others were made after he died and according to his explicit wishes and instructions to the government of France.
In 1945, just out of the Army, the young B. Gerald Cantor wandered into New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he was captivated by Auguste Rodin’s marble sculpture, “The Hand of God.” Eighteen months later, for the equivalent of two months’ rent, he bought his first Rodin, the sculptor’s bronze version of the piece he had fallen in love with at the Met. That is how Cantor’s lifelong obsession with the sculpture of Rodin began.
Between 1945 and the early 1990s, Cantor created the world’s largest and most comprehensive private collection of Rodin’s work. Concentrating on quality and significance, he collected nearly 750 sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs and documents.
His obsession was not only to own and understand the works, but also to share them. More than 450 works of art from the Cantor collection have been given to more than 70 museums and exhibitions have been seen at museums and galleries in more than 140 cities in the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, and Singapore.
Cantor said he was consumed by the feeling of strength, power and sensuality he found in Rodin’s work, which focused on the vitality of the human spirit by using a vigorous modeling technique that emphasized the artist’s personal response to the subject
This exhibition has been organized by the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation.
A $5 admission fee for this exhibition will be charged for nonmember visitors. Members, Uconn students and children under 18 are free.
The museum is on the University of Connecticut campus at 245 Glenbrook Road. For information, 860-486-4520 or www.benton.uconn.edu .
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