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LSU Museum of Art to Open "Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession Exhibit"


On Jan. 25, the LSU Museum of Art will unveil the exhibit, "Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession, Sculpture from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation," which is part of the museum's yearlong 50th anniversary celebration in 2009.

This exhibition celebrates the prolific career of legendary French artist Auguste Rodin and features 63 original bronze sculptures from his most famous projects including, "The Gates of Hell," "Monument to the Burghers of Calais" and "Monument to Balzac." The exhibition is accompanied by a selection of photographs, works on paper and the film, "Rodin: The Gates of Hell," which explores both the creative and technical process of Rodin's work.

"Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession" was organized and made possible by the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation and will be on view until April 19.

The exhibition highlights Rodin's most ambitious work, "The Gates of Hell," which consumed almost 40 years of the sculptor's life. Rodin exhibited many of the individual figures from the project as independent sculptures, including his two most indelible images, "The Thinker" and "The Kiss." Other sculptures in the exhibition include the emotionally charged figures from "The Burghers of Calais," "Monument to Balzac" and "Monument to Victor Hugo."

At the height of his career, Rodin was regarded as the greatest sculptor since Michelangelo. Rodin was unsurpassed in his ability to represent the life and emotion of his subjects. He treated public monuments as not only an opportunity to portray heroes, but also as occasions to explore the complex emotions of humanity. His artistic mission was to communicate the vitality of the human spirit, and his work lives on in the public's imagination.

Events that will take place during the exhibition include a teacher in-service on Jan. 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., where teachers will have the opportunity to spend time with the exhibition and collaborate with a curator, an art educator, a practicing artist and other teachers to develop hands-on projects for their students.

Judith Sobel, executive director of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, will discuss the formation of the Cantor Foundation's collection of Auguste Rodin sculptures on Jan. 25 at 2 p.m. "Nude vs. Naked: A Panel Discussion" will take place on Jan. 29 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the historical, cultural and educational issues related to the nude in art.

Adults and children will have the opportunity to sketch their favorite Rodin sculptures under the guidance of LSU art students on Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. as part of Sketching Sculptures Together. Also on Feb. 14, in celebration of Valentine's Day, patrons visiting the exhibit from 2 p.m. to closing will receive a complimentary rose with their admission.

The Thinker
"The Thinker"

In addition to the Rodin exhibit, the LSU Museum of Art will also be celebrating its 50th anniversary with a variety of exhibits throughout the year. These exhibits include "Reunion: James Burke, Ed Pramuk and Robert Warrens" from May 21 through August 9; "Gabriel Laderman: Unconventional Realist" from Sept. 4 through Oct. 25; "Living Color" the Photographs of Judy Cooper" from Aug. 28 through Nov. 1 and "Of People and Places" Contemporary Art from the JP Morgan Chase Art Collection" from Nov. 21 through Feb. 13, 2010.

The LSU Museum of Art could not present quality exhibitions and programs without the support and generosity of sponsors who support the exhibition. The sponsors for this exhibition include Chase, Baton Rouge Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the City Parish of East Baton Rouge, Louisiana Division of the Arts & Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, the Consulate General of France in New Orleans, the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino, Sheraton Baton Rouge, WBRZ Channel 2, the Advocate, Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, 225 Magazine, Kean Miller, Chenevert Architects, David & Jeanie Bondy, Karen Gaupp-Woznia, the Riverside Reader, Whole Foods Market and Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling.

For more information, contact LSU Museum of Art marketing director Renee B. Payton at or 225-389-7206.

"Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession" Schedule of Events

Teacher In-Service Thursday, Jan. 22, at 9 a.m.
For more information and an application, visit the education section of the website: or e-mail education curator Lara Gautreau at

Judith Sobol Lecture Sunday, Jan. 25, at 2 p.m.
Judith Sobol, executive director of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, will discuss the formation of the Cantor Foundation's collection of Auguste Rodin sculptures.

Nude vs. Naked: A Panel Discussion Thursday, Jan. 29, at 6:30 p.m.
What is the difference between "naked" and "nude?" Why does one provoke embarrassment, while the other inspires appreciation? Panelists will provide their insights as the discussion considers historical, cultural and educational issues related to the nude in art.

Sketching Sculptures Together Saturday, Feb. 14, at 10 a.m.
Whether confident or cautious about sketching skills, kids and their favorite adults will delight in picking up pencils and drawing the day away with Rodin's sculptures as the subjects and LSU art students as their guides. Supplies are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Children must be accompanied by an adult who is prepared to provide assistance.

Isn't it romantic!?! Saturday, Feb. 14, at 2 p.m.
Be inspired by Rodin's famous sculpture "The Kiss." Enjoy the "Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession" exhibition, and from 2 p.m. to close receive a complimentary rose with admission.

Melissa Foley | Writer | Office of Communications & University Relations
January 2009