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Month: June 2017

Beat the Summer Heat With Cool Activities at the MMFA

During the month of July, we offer new exhibitions and programs that provide you with numerous opportunities to celebrate and learn about art here at the MMFA. Take a look at the guide below of summer events being offered around the Museum, and we hope to see you soon!

First Sundays and Third Saturdays

Sunday, July 2, 1 P.M. and Saturday, July 15, 1 P.M.

Come and take an afternoon stroll through the MMFA galleries. During these one-hour docent-led tours, you can learn about the works of art on view at the Museum.  For more information, please call 334.240.4333.

Summer Art Camp

July 10 through 14 and July 24 through 28

The MMFA is offering its final two youth summer camps for the year. Both will focus on the elements of art and promise to be fun and engaging, and participants will leave with an armful of their own artworks created in the studio.

 

Ekphrasis: A Monthly Book Club About Art (Open Meeting)

Wednesday, July 19, at 12 noon

The featured book of the month of July is War and Turpentine: A Novel. Curator of Education Alice Novak will lead the presentation and provide visual context for the chosen book. Lunch will be provided at a cost of $10. To reserve lunch from Café M, call 334.240.4365, or email edsecy@mmfa.org.

 

Tales for Tots

Wednesday, July 19, at 10 A.M. (for childcare groups) or 10:30 or 11 A.M. (for children with an adult caregiver)

This FREE monthly program (designed for children ages 2 to 5 with adult companions) helps develop early learning about elements of art through storytelling and a simple craft activity related to art that is on display in the galleries. Each session is limited to 25 children on a first come, first serve basis.

Also during this month, daycare groups and other childcare organizations are invited to the Museum for a story and craft in our galleries. Reservations for the group session must be made by Wednesday, June 21. Adult chaperones must be present and encouraged to participate with their group.

 

DiVine Lunch

Thursday, July 20, 11 A.M. to 2 P.M.

Please join us for DiVine Lunch Thursday, July 20, 11 A.M. to 2 P.M. in Café M. United- Johnson Brothers, LLC. will be pairing wines specifically for the menu created by the chefs at Café M. This special menu will highlight the seasonal fare. Lunch is offered for $20 per person (plus tax and gratuity), and additional glasses of wine may be purchased for $8.

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 334.240.4399. Also, stop by the Museum Store between 12 noon and 2 P.M. to see Artist in Action Queen Opulence at work. Along with meeting the featured artist, you will have the opportunity to purchase some of her work.

 

Four “True” Rodin sculptures on view in Rodin: Realism, Fragments, and Abstraction at MMFA through January 7, 2018

When the art dealer Ambroise Vollard (1866–1939) asked Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) how to distinguish a false from a true Rodin, the sculptor replied: “Only I can do so. It’s quite simple. A true Rodin is one that has been cast with my consent; the false is done without my knowledge.”

Rodin’s statement is true, but it is not as simple as it seems—at least relative to the determination of the authenticity of his casts today. First, he has been dead for a century, so he certainly is not able to speak now about the authenticity of any particular cast. Moreover, he knew that there were illegitimate casts made during his lifetime and illegitimate casts have been made since his death. Moreover, Rodin complicated matters in 1916 when he willed to the French state his studio full of sculptures and models along with the authorization to make posthumous casts in return for France assuming stewardship of his studio and collection in perpetuity as a public museum. In short, he knew that the Musée Rodin would make posthumous casts of his sculptures; therefore, those too would be “true” Rodin sculptures.

Four of these “true” Rodins are on display in the small exhibition, Rodin: Realism, Fragments, and Abstraction. Jean de Finnes, The Three Shades, and The Gates of Hell, Third Maquette are on loan from Iris Cantor, who with her husband B. Gerald Cantor built the third largest collection of Rodin sculpture in the world (only surpassed by the Musée Rodin in Paris and the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia) and gave most of it to Stanford University. The Head of Jean d’Aire is from the MMFA collection.

The monumental figure of Jean de Finnes and the full-scale Head of Jean d’Aire are both from Rodin’s renowned Burghers of Calais (1884–1889), an innovative memorial to heroes who volunteered their lives to lift the siege of their town during the Hundred Years War (1337–1453). They illustrate Rodin’s distinctive approach to realism, which included a tendency to abstract features like hands and feet for expressive effect.

The Three Shades and the maquette, or study, for The Gates of Hell (1880­–­1917) are two out of scores of individual sculptures associated with the artist’s commission for the entrance portal of a decorative arts museum that was never built. Although Rodin knew that the commission was canceled, he continued to work on the enormous sculptural composition based on the Divine Comedy (ca. 1308–1321) by Dante (ca. 1265–1321) throughout his life.

The Three Shades illustrates the master sculptor’s avant-garde style of fragmenting and reassembling sculptures in new compositions, often evolving their titles and meaning in the process. The Three Shades are three identical casts of a figure he originally titled Adam. Rodin decided to replicate the figure and group them as the finial element on the Gates. Close inspection reveals that each of the figures is missing its right hand, a conscious decision Rodin made for compositional reasons.

In addition to the four original Rodin sculptures, the exhibition includes several reproductions of photographs from the Musée Rodin that show the artist and his work in progress. Rodin used photography to record assemblages of sculptural components in compositions that he wanted to study, often drawing or making notes on the photographs.

Together, these photographic reproductions and these “true” Rodin posthumous bronzes give us a glimpse at the genius of the “Father of Modern Sculpture” who used realism, abstraction, and fragmentation in unprecedented ways to create art that continues to resonate with viewers around the world.

Michael W. Panhorst, Ph.D.
Curator

 

 

Image 1: Unknown photographer, Portrait of Rodin wearing a beret and a coat covered with plaster, 1880, Reproduction of albumin print, From the Collection of the Musée Rodin, Paris, Ph.00311

Image 2: Installation photograph of Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917), Jean de Fiennes (Clothed), modeled 1885-1886, Musée Rodin cast 2/8 in 1981, bronze, 82 x 48 x 38 inches. Lent by Iris Cantor.

Image 3: Auguste Rodin (French, 1840­–1917), The Three Shades, modeled 1880–1904, Musée Rodin cast 10 in 1981, bronze, 40 ¾ x 37 ½ x 20 ½ inches. Lent by Iris Cantor

 

Discover Summer Adventure at the MMFA

School is out and summer is just around the corner. With the temperatures approaching the 90-degree mark or higher many people are looking for ways to get out and enjoy themselves while keeping comfortably cool. The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts has just what you looking for in our air-conditioned galleries, studios, Café M, and Museum Store.

Check out the list of activities for June here at the MMFA. Click through to discover some fun events to make your summer memorable.

First Sundays
Sunday, June 4, 1 P.M.

Learn about works of art on view in the Museum’s permanent and temporary exhibitions. This FREE one-hour docent-led tour introduces some of the most important works in our collection.

 

Short Course: The Work of Auguste Rodin
Tuesdays, June 6, 13, and 20, at 12 noon

The Museum now enjoys  the loan of several bronze sculptures by the French master Auguste Rodin from the collection of Iris Cantor. As is evident in his work, Rodin was a transitional figure in the art world of nineteenth-century France, both a traditional sculptor and radical innovator .

Free Film at the Museum
Thursday, June 15, 5:30 P.M.

Join us for a FREE showing of the movie Lust for Life. Enjoy the 1956 classic in which Kirk Douglas plays Vincent Van Gogh and Anthony Quinn plays Paul Gauguin. There will be wine, soft drinks, and bottled water available for purchase, and as always, the delicious popcorn is free!

Third Saturdays
Saturday, June 17, at 1 P.M.

Take a FREE one-hour docent-led tour of the Museum’s permanent and temporary exhibitions. For more information call 334.240.4365.

Art Camp
June 19 through 22, 8:30 A.M.

This is the first of three youth summer camps the MMFA education department will offer this year. It will focus on the elements of art, and promises to be both fun and instructive. Participants will leave with an armful of their own artworks created in the studio.

Tales for Tots (ages 2 to 5 with an adult caregiver)
Wednesday, June 28, 10:30 A.M., and 11 A.M.

This FREE monthly program for the pre-school set helps foster learning about elements of art through storytelling and a simple craft activity related to art that is on display in the galleries.


Saturday Brunch 

Saturday, from 10 A.M. to 1 P.M.

Café M’s Saturday Brunch offers a variety of delicious options made from fresh local ingredients. Check out our summer menu now featuring French Toast Casserole with Peach Compote, delicious summer salad combos with grilled fish and chicken, and our always popular crustless quiches. We invite you to enjoy a delicious meal accompanied by a stunning view overlooking the lake and park. Call ahead and make your reservations at 334.240.4339.

 

 

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