Sunday, October 5, 2008

Found in Palo Alto, CA: Rodin Sculpture Garden

This weekend I spontaneously hopped on my private jet and flew to Paris where I strolled the gardens of Rodin's famous bronze sculptures... Ok, I admit, I'm exaggerating a bit -- the jet was out of commission, so I drove over to Palo Alto instead. Much to my delight I was able to enjoy a similar experience at the Rodin Sculpture Garden at Stanford University. The vast collection is exhibited in a garden modeled after the Parisian landscapes where Rodin often featured his public art during his lifetime. In fact, Stanford houses the largest collection of Rodin bronzes outside of Paris. For those of you who didn't have to sit through hours of Art History and Sculpture courses in school, here's a brief history lesson on Rodin: Auguste Rodin was a French sculptor who was trained traditionally, but soon took on a truly distinct style while sculpting the human form. Rodin paid careful attention to surface modeling, details, texture, light and shadow while creating sculptures that evoke emotion, strength and realism.

Luckily, I was able to enjoy the exhibit on a gorgeous, sunny October day which emphasized the surface of each sculpture and clearly showcased Rodin's technique of light and shadow. In person his sculptures express strength, passion, tension and beauty. So if you can't get over to France, come out to California and experience a bit of Parisian history on American soil.

Although this slideshow mainly depicts the work of Rodin, the last four photos are of a sculpture also found at Stanford University. Sculptor Andy Goldsworthy created Stone River for this specific location with 128 tons of sandstone. Goldsworthy used reclaimed materials from the Stanford campus buildings that were crumbled in the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes. The movement and beauty of the serpentine shape is beautiful and truly unique.


Tess Mattern said...

Great subject! I wonder if Martin is going to post her pictures from the Musee Rodin next week?

It's so funny how multiple museums exist around the world with identical work by Rodin. I guess it's just a matter of recasting, so its great that this gives more people the opportunity to see the sculptures! On Wikipedia they list another in Philidelphia, and one in Seoul (Palo Alto isn't even mentioned, leading me to wonder where else there are hidden Rodin museums...)

sarahheartsdesign said...

Great pictures, thanks for sharing. I love the third shot in the set of the hands!