The idea was too tempting to resist: see as many of the displays commemorating the one-hundredth anniversary of Auguste Rodin’s death (born in 1840, he died in 1917) as possible, in an effort to take, once and for all, the measure of this artist and to come to terms with the paradox of his legacy. Though widely recognized as “the father of modern sculpture,” Rodin was repudiated by those who came after, most famously by Constantin Brancusi.

No single exhibition has ever seemed equal to the task of capturing the essence of this artist. Perhaps, I thought, an approach as various and discontinuous as Rodin’s art itself, one that took in multiple exhibitions, would do the trick. The checklists would overlap, but the individual emphases would vary, producing a kaleidoscopic image of the artist through whose multiple facets and fragments might emerge a clearer picture...


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