The Louisville (Baltimore) Thinker

University of Louisville

University of Louisville,
Louisville, Kentucky 40292 USA

Tel. 001-1-800-334-UofL

Auguste Rodin's The Thinker presides at the front of Grawemeyer Hall. Created in Paris, the cast is believed to have been supervised by the artist himself and was first displayed in the U.S. at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. According to the University's website, the bronze statue is the only known cast made from what is called the "lost-wax" method. A "gift to the City of Louisville", The Thinker was placed in its current setting in 1949 and has become a symbol of the university.

According to Kirsten Lavin, Public Relations Coordinator at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, this cast orginally was aquired by the Walter Art Gallery and was deaccessioned to the University of Louisville. This in confirmed by De Caso, who indicates this first Hébrard cast was acquired by Henry Walters at the Louisville Purchase Expostion of 1904. Besides, there are several other lost-wax casts made by Hébrard. For a detailed overview of Thinker casts, please consult

In March 1998, discussion arose on the alleged idea of the Speed Museum to move the Rodin original from its traditional spot to a room inside the Speed museum, in order to preserve it better. Students protested.


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