Rare opportunity to see Rodin

IT is not unreasonable to suggest that next month’s exhibition Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession at the Art Gallery of Western Australia may have saved some of the French artist’s masterpieces, according to chief curator and deputy director of the gallery, Gary Dufour.

About 300 Rodin works were housed between the 100th and 105th floors of the World Trade Centre and were destroyed in the terrorist attacks that demolished the buildings.

The works were stored in a gallery at the global securities firm Cantor Fitzgerald, which lost many of staff who worked at the Centre.

The works featured in Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession have been sourced from the Iris and B Gerald Cantor collection, whose artworks are stored at various places in the United States.

Mr Dufour says it is possible some of the works that will be on display at the exhibition may have come from the Cantor Fitzgerald collection at the World Trade Centre.

“We are drawing from the Iris and B Gerald Cantor foundation, which comes from Stanford University, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and other places which they are usually housed,” he says.

“One would assume that some of the works would no longer be around if they weren’t on their way to Perth.”

The Rodin exhibition showcases 75 works and focuses on the different styles of Rodin’s sculpture, including studies for Monument of the Burghers of Calais, The Three Shades, The Monument of Balzac, The Thinker, and The Gates of Hell.

Mr Dufour says losing 300 works in the New York disaster is a large amount of artwork to lose for one particular collection.

“I would say losing 300 works is fairly substantial. Our exhibition, which is a fairly large exhibition, has 75 works, so you’re looking at three times that lost.”

Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession also will include photographs, drawings, letters and films and will feature at the Art Gallery of Western Australia from October 4 to December 5.

In other news from the gallery, the official word on the Money exhibition is that it was “a huge success”. A record attendance level was set, with 173,892 people visiting the Monet Exhibition – 11,500 of those managed to squeeze in at the last minute, all going through the Gallery’s doors on the last weekend.

To meet the demand the Gallery opened until midnight on the Saturday and until 8pm on the Sunday.

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