Rodin Museum in Paris Reopens After $17.4 Million Renovation

The collection now includes never-before-seen works.

The sculptor bequeathed his studio and estate to the French state. Photo: Musée Rodin
The Rodin Museum, Paris reopens after a three year refurbishment. Photo: Musée Rodin

The Rodin Museum, Paris reopens after a three year refurbishment.
Photo: Musée Rodin

The Rodin Museum in Paris is set to reopen on November 12 following a three year, €16 million ($17.4 million) renovation. The reopening coincides with what would have been Auguste Rodin‘s 175th birthday.

The French artist created some of the best-known sculptures in art history, including The Thinker (1902), The Burghers of Calais (1884-1889) and The Kiss (1882-1889).

The 18th century Parisian mansion which Rodin used as his studio was already in a bad state of disrepair when the artist bequeathed the building—along with his entire estate—to the French state after his death in 1917.

Rodin's will and testament stipulated that the works must be remain in the 18th century mansion. Photo: Musée Rodin

Rodin’s will and testament stipulated that the works must remain in the 18th century mansion.
Photo: Musée Rodin

In 1919, the palatial townhouse was converted into a museum. By the time it closed in 2012 for its first ever refurbishment, the 700,000 annual visitors had damaged the museum such that it was on the verge of destruction.

France’s culture minister, Fleur Pellerin, said the restoration was “not merely a technical necessity—it was a moral duty,” the Guardian reports.

The sculptor bequeathed his studio and estate to the French state. Photo: Musée Rodin

The sculptor bequeathed his studio and estate to the French state.
Photo: Musée Rodin

The severely damaged original parquet flooring—parts of which had been patched up with plywood—was copied, replaced, and reinforced. Half of the doors and window frames were beyond repair and had to be completely reconstructed. And the lighting fixtures were swapped for a state-of-the-art system that reacts automatically to natural light levels and can be programmed individually.

To mark the reopening, the museum’s permanent collection has been offset by several newly restored, previously unseen sculptures by Rodin. In addition, the sculptor’s fragmented personal collection of Greek and Roman sculptures will also be shown.

The museum reopens with several unseen artworks by Rodin. Photo: Musée Rodin

The museum reopens with several unseen artworks by Rodin.
Photo: Musée Rodin

Other works include the artist’s unfamiliar humorous “assemblages,” combining existing antique sculptures with his own plaster additions.

Also on show for the first time is a collection of Rodin’s little-known landscape paintings from of the artist’s early career, before he settled on the medium of sculpture.


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