6abc Loves the Arts: Rodin Museum

May 15, 2013 8:59:56 AM PDT
The Rodin Museum reopened last summer, after a three-year project to restore the gardens and the building to their original grandeur so this is the first opportunity since the renovation to enjoy those glorious spring blooms.

The tulips around the reflecting pool are bursting with color, the magnolia trees are a flowering, and lush, fragrant lavender should bloom any day now. (:09)

"The gardens were replanted by Olin Partners very sensitively, looking back at the historical design, but also looking at a number of plants that would be appealing throughout the seasons," Associate Curator Jennifer Thompson said.

One of the most dramatic changes Is the return of large-scale outdoor sculptures.

"There are 8 pieces now that can be found in the garden and this is something Rodin himself would have loved because he felt very strongly that sculpture was an outdoor art," Thompson said.

The Museum holds one of the largest collections of Rodin works outside of Paris with 150 large and small scale sculptures that were amassed in the 1920s by Philadelphia native Jules Mastbaum, one of the country's first motion picture magnates.

"The plasters, for many people, are some of the most exciting pieces because they really show Rodin at work and you get a sense, you can see sometimes his fingerprints in the plaster or in the waxes," Thompson said.

A new, free multi-media app walks visitors through the key pieces in the collection. The second Saturday of every month, there's a free with admission sketch class in the museum or gardens.

"Twice a year we have a play with clay in the garden where children and their parents are invited to try their hands at working with clay," Thompson said.

For tickets and museum hours, go to RodinMuseum.org.