NGA AND HIRSHHORN, WASHINGTON, D.C.
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Katherine Seney Simpson
(Mrs. John W. Simpson), 1902
Dancing Figure, 1905
The Sphinx, model 1880īs,
carved 1909, marble
The National Gallery of Art, Washington
6th Street and Constitution Avenue,
NW, Washington, DC 20565 USA
Tel. 001 - 202 - 737 42 15 (general information)
This collection contains ca. 40 Rodin sculptures and ca. 30 drawings
and prints by Rodin. Many of these pieces were donated in 1942 by
Katherine Seney Simpson (Mrs. John W. Simpson), one of the most
important collectors of Rodinīs art. For her bust portrait, Rodin
needed 60 sittings of two hours each, then was so proud of the result he
sent it in to various exhibitions.
The Thinker cast is as early as 1901, the Age of Bronze was cast 1898,
the Walking Man 1903.
Moreover, this Website has an excellent searchable database which
lists all collection titles and gives access to fine images and detailed
background information, including provenance, exhibition history and
Click here for
list of Rodin work at the NGA.
Some major Rodin theme exhibitions at the NGA:
Sculpture and Drawings
by Rodin, opened 22 August 1965
In this exhibition, 28 sculptures and 8 drawings by Rodin from Mrs. John
W. Simpson were exhibited for the first time in almost 20 years.
Rodin Drawings, True
20 November 1971 - 30 January 1972
Also at the Guggenheim Museum, 9 March -1 4 May 1972
In this exhibition,132 drawings by Rodin and 28 forgeries of the
artist's work were presented , extending from earliest student exercises
to the late line drawings of dancers and nudes. The exhibition and the
catalogue book addressed the question of the chronology of his work and
the existence of a large number of forgeries.
One section of the exhibition showed 9 works by the known forger Ernst
Durig and two others known as Hand A and Hand B. Following the
settlement of the Ernst Durig estate, which included 155 forgeries, J.
Kirk T. Varnedoe and Professor Albert Elsen of Stanford University chose
to investigate Rodin's work.
The Drawings of Rodin, by Albert Elsen and J. Kirk T. Varnedoe. New
York: Praeger Publishers, Inc., 1971.
Rediscovered, 28 June 1981 - 2 May 1982
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 exhibition, organized by Albert Elsen, Kirk Varnedoe and Ruth
Butler, was attended by more than 1 million visitors and is claimed to
be "the largest exhibition ever devoted to Rodin".
Catalog: Rodin Rediscovered, by Albert E. Elsen et al. Washington, D.C.:
National Gallery of Art, 1981.
(Head of Public Affairs) firstname.lastname@example.org
Michele Colburn (Public Affairs Specialist) email@example.com
Burghers of Calais, cast ca.
1931-1947, Sculpture Garden
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden / Smithsonian Institution
Independence Ave. on Seventh Street
SW. Washington DC, 20560 USA
Tel. 001 - 202 - 357 13 00
Chief Curator: Neil Benezra
Joseph H. Hirshhorn (1899-1981) was a Latvian-born businessman,
financier, and mining magnate from New York who amassed an exceptional
collection of modern and contemporary sculpture and painting. Today, the
Hirshhorn Museum boasts ca. 3,000 sculptures. Constantin Brancusi,
Alexander Calder, Edgar Degas, Alberto Giacometti, Henri Matisse, Henry
Moore and David Smith are well represented. From the permanent Rodin
collection, ca. 13 sculptures are on view, part of them in the Sculpture
Garden. The collection contains also selected sculptures by Carpeaux,
Dalou, Daumier, Bourdelle, Despiau and Medardo Rosso.
Click here for a
of Rodin works on view at the Hirshhorn.
The Department of Painting and Sculpture maintains a curatorial research
file on the entire permanent collection. recording over 12,000 objects
including photographs, official documents, research notes,
correspondence, and copies of reference material assembled by the staff.
The Smithsonian Institutions have a searchable database for all
different parts of their extensive network of archives and libraries.
Publications by Valerie
J. Fletcher, Curator of Sculpture:
The Human Figure Interpreted: Modern Sculpture from the Hirshhorn
Museum: Degas, Rodin, Degas, Matisse, Archipenko, Lipchitz, Giacometti,
Marini, Moore. Taiwan: Taipei Museum of Modern Art, 1994, 164 pp.,
bilingual. Tokyo: Yomiuri Shimbun, 1995, 130 pp., bilingual.
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden: 150 Works of Art. New York
and Washington DC: Harry N. Abrams and Smithsonian Institution, 1996, 41