The Rodin Museum is one of the most important collections of 19th-century sculpture anywhere in the world, and is one of the most distinguished museums devoted to the work of a single artist. It contains 127 bronzes, marbles, plasters, terra cottas and waxes, representing every aspect of the artist’s career and all his major projects. Treasures at Philadelphia’s Rodin Museum include a cast of The Burghers of Calais
(1884-95), his most heroic and moving historical tribute; The Mask of the Man with the Broken Nose
(1863-64); powerful monuments to leading French intellectuals such as Apotheosis of Victor Hugo
(1890-91); as well as The Thinker
, perhaps the most famous sculpture in the world, which greets visitors outside the Museum’s entrance on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where it is one of Philadelphia’s many defining works of public art. The Gates of Hell
(1880-1917), a monumental work considered among his most ambitious projects and one that occupied the artist for 37 years, rises to a height of 20 feet at the entrance to the Museum. It was cast in bronze for the first time at Mastbaum’s request. Inside, visitors can see one of the important early models (1880) in which Rodin began to conceive his vision for the final version of The Gates of Hell
The Rodin Museum is located on Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 22nd Street. For information, call (215) 763-8100. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 5 p.m., except federal holidays. A donation of $3.00 is suggested.