Skip to Content

Rodin Rediscovered

June 28, 1981 – May 2, 1982
East Building, All Levels, Northeast, Pod I (25,000 sq. ft.)

Auguste Rodin, Hand of Rodin with a Female Figure, 1917, plaster, Gift of Mrs. John W. Simpson, 1942.5.22

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: 366 catalogued works from about 40 American and European public and private collections filled spaces on each of the East Building's 4 levels. The exhibition recreated on the Upper Level a typical Paris Salon of the 1870s filled with 29 sculpture, continued downward through the building with 9 further sections devoted to different themes of Auguste Rodin's work, and ended on the Concourse Level with a new 8-ton bronze cast of The Gates of Hell with its 186 figures. This was the largest exhibition ever devoted to Rodin.

Organization: Organizers were Albert Elsen, Kirk Varnedoe, and Ruth Butler, who, with a team of other scholars, contributed 14 essays to the catalogue reexamining aspects of Rodin's career and production. Gaillard Ravenel, Mark Leithauser, and Elroy Quenroe designed the complex installation of bronzes, marbles, plasters, drawings, and photographs, with assistance from Butler in the design of the salon. Gordon Anson designed the lighting.

Sponsor: The exhibition, with brochure, was made possible by support from IBM Corporation, and was shown only at the National Gallery.

Attendance: 1,053,223

Catalog: Rodin Rediscovered, by Albert E. Elsen et al. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1981.

Brochure: Rodin Rediscovered. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1981.
Rodin Rediscovered: Rodin and the Paris Salons of the 1870s, by Ruth Butler. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1981.

Rodin, Auguste
French, 1840 - 1917