The Thinker, bronze, detail

Cleveland Museum of Art

University Circle
11150 East Boulevard, in University Circle
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-1797 USA

Tel. 001 - 216 421 73 40 (administrative offices)
Toll Free: 888 - 269 78 29

The website shows a detail from The Thinker, positioned at the Museum's south entrance. Further information on Rodin work can be accessed through the Library slide archive, which produces 78 results for Rodin - but shows only three Rodin works from the Cleveland collection. This modest online presentation stands in sharp contrast to the defiant foreword to the 1967 Museum publication by Athena Tacha Spear:

"Fifty years after Rodinīs death, it is disturbing to realize that in spite of unnumerable publications on this great sculptor, his work still suffers from adequate study and considerable misunderstandings. Among the major museums that own large collections of his sculpture, rare are the ones that have published worthwile catalogues (..). Surprisingly enough, the three American Museums that have the largest collections of Rodins, the Philadelphia Rodin Museum, the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, have not yet brought any significant contribution to the study of the master. Cleveland owns probably the fourth best public collection of Rodins in this country, important not so much for the number of works as for the fact that it contains mostly casts and marbles before Rodinīs death."

The book holds what it promises and does not only give a minute description of the Cleveland collection, but also puts it in the context of related Rodin works and provides a nearly complete list of similar plasters, bronze casts and marbles in other collections worldwide. Although the study only covers a limited number of works and other institutions now have published detailed catalogs on their own collections, the 1967 book and its 1972 supplement still offers an unmatched overview regarding such widely spread works as The Age of Bronze, Jean dīAire, The Thinker, The Fallen Caryatid, The Bust of Victor Hugo or the numerous Studies for the Head and the Figure of Balzac. In many cases, it helped me to fill in white spots in my own research and countercheck other sources.

The CMAīs Website mentions following works as part of the permanent collection. As a matter of fact, the Museum holds over 20 important works.

   The Thinker, bronze (pre-1917) H. 72"
      (destroyed by a bomb attack)

   Victor Hugo, portrait bust, bronze,
     anon. loan

   Titanīs Vase support, glazed 
     earthenware, ca. 1877

  Athena Spear - Rodin sculpture in the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, 1967.

  Athena Spear - Supplement to Rodin sculpture in the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, 1973.


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Last update of this page: 19.09.2003