The Centenary Installation
Marking the centenary of Auguste Rodin’s death in 1917, the Legion of Honor will present a completely new installation of its extraordinary Rodin holdings in Auguste Rodin: The Centenary Installation. Approximately 50 objects in bronze, marble, and plaster—all from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s permanent collection—will be presented in a new context.
The exhibition will examine the artist’s influential work and his celebrated life, from his early days courting controversy with sculptures that bore unexpected levels of naturalism, to his later prestige and lasting influence. The Centenary Installation is part of a worldwide series of major Rodin projects and will provide Bay Area audiences a significant opportunity to examine and recontextualize the legacy of the artist known as “the father of modern sculpture.”
The Legion of Honor’s collection of works by Rodin is one of the finest and most significant in the United States. In 1915, Legion of Honor founders Alma and Adolph Spreckels began assembling what American dancer Loie Fuller called “the greatest collection of perfect Rodins in the world.” The Spreckels purchased works directly from Rodin’s studio, often the original plaster models or works that were cast or carved with the direct supervision of Rodin himself. The exhibition will include pieces related to some of Rodin’s most ambitious commissions: The Burghers of Calais and The Gates of Hell, the latter of which includes his most famous sculpture, The Thinker, now a beloved, iconic emblem of the Legion of Honor.
To further celebrate the centenary of Rodin’s death, the Legion of Honor has invited international artists Urs Fischer (Swiss, born 1975) and Sarah Lucas (British, born 1962) to participate in the Rodin Dialogues, where they will conceive installations that bring a contemporary perspective to today’s understanding of Rodin’s work and legacy.
This exhibition is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Presenting Sponsor: John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn.