Rodin Museum, Philadelphia

Rodin Museum, Philadelphia (must see)

The Rodin Museum, situated in Philadelphia, is an art museum that boasts one of the largest collections of the renowned sculptor Auguste Rodin's creations outside of Paris.

The museum was established as a gift to the city of Philadelphia by Jules Mastbaum (1872–1926), a prominent figure in the movie theater industry. In 1923, Mastbaum embarked on a mission to collect Rodin's works with the goal of creating a museum to enhance the cultural life of the city's residents. In just three years, he managed to assemble an impressive collection of Rodin's pieces, including bronze sculptures, plaster studies, drawings, prints, letters, and books. In 1926, Mastbaum enlisted the services of French architects Paul Cret and Jacques Gréber to design the museum building and its surrounding gardens. Unfortunately, Mastbaum did not live to see his vision come to fruition, but his widow, Etta Wedell Mastbaum, upheld his commitment to the city, and the museum officially opened its doors on November 29, 1929. Notably, the museum features murals created by the painter Franklin C. Watkins.

Prominently displayed in the museum's entry courtyard is one of Rodin's most famous works, "The Thinker" (1880–1882). Previously, visitors would enter through a replica of "The Gates of Hell," situated at the main entrance, which is no longer in use. This colossal bronze doorway, standing at a height of 5.5 meters, was initially conceived for the Museum of Decorative Arts, originally intended for Paris but never realized. Rodin meticulously sculpted over 100 figures for these doors from 1880 until his passing in 1917. The casting on display at the Rodin Museum is one of only three originals. Several of Rodin's iconic pieces, including "The Thinker," were initially conceived as studies for these doors and later evolved into independent works of art.

Throughout the museum's various rooms, visitors can explore a diverse array of Rodin's creations, including notable pieces such as "The Kiss" (1886), "Eternal Springtime" (1884), "The Age of Bronze" (1875–76), and "The Burghers of Calais," a monument commissioned by the City of Calais in 1884.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Philadelphia. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Rodin Museum on Map

Sight Name: Rodin Museum
Sight Location: Philadelphia, USA (See walking tours in Philadelphia)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Create Your Own Walk in Philadelphia

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University of Pennsylvania Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
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Benjamin Franklin's Philadelphia

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
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In 1972, the park was placed on the National...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles

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