H. de Roos - Towards a catalog of the Maclaren collection

A discussion with Gary Arseneau and Dr David Schaff (6)

The Dimensions Of A Plaster Do Not Reveal Its Age

I also asked the Musée Rodin for a comment on this question; of all parties, the Paris institution logically is in the best position to confirm or refute Arseneau´s presentation:

The strongest critique in Toronto came from Mr Gary Arseneau from Florida (...), who claimed all the foundry plasters the Gruppo Mondiale had acquired from the settlement of the Georges Rudier foundry would in fact be posthumous duplicates produced by the Musée Rodin from original plasters in the Meudon reserves, with posthumously added A. Rodin signature stamps, and sent to the Rudier foundry (Alexis? Georges?) to produce posthumous casts from.

Although the Maclaren curatorial team has difficulties stating in which year the single foundry plasters were exactly produced (…) it has generally assured most foundry plasters/duplicates would have been produced during Rodin´s lifetime. 

Could the Musée Rodin confirm that Mr Arseneau is wrong in this point?

[From: Letter to Mr Jacques Vilain, 20 Nov. 2001]

But till today, the Musée Rodin would not comment on this. 

In his "Notes on Authentication" of 18 June 2001, Dr Schaff had stressed the fact that most of the Maclaren plasters in their dimensions precisely correspond to other plaster examples in recognized collections and to the Meudon bon creux moulds. But that a positive shape in its dimensions exactly matches another positive or negative form does not necessarily imply it was created at the same time:

That the pieces match to the Meudon bon creux moulds just proves they were not produced by surmoulage on bronze or in some criminal forgery workshop. But they could as well have been manufactured in 1920, or 1930, or 1940, or 1950, in the Musée Rodin or in the Alexis Rudier Foundry, or in 1960, or in 1970, again in the Musée Rodin or in the Georges Rudier foundry. How do you exclude this?

The show looked very attractive to me but I am still not sure what exactly I have seen there.

[From a letter to Mary Reid, 26 Nov. 2001]




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