I wish I liked Rodin. I’ve tried to like Rodin, but no luck so far. That doesn’t stop the Rodin Museum from being one of my favorite spots in Philadelphia, especially in the spring and summer when the gardens are in bloom. Tobey and I have spent many hours in the gardens here – doing homework, taking pictures, picnicking… It’s like a bit of Paris in the middle of Philadelphia. Maybe one day, I will come to appreciate the sculpture…
Opened in 1929, the museum was a gift to the city from movie theater mogul Jules E. Mastbaum. Mastbaum began collecting works by Rodin in 1923 and assembled the largest collection of Rodin’s works outside Paris. The museum contains bronze castings, plaster studies, drawings, prints, letters, and books. The exhibits rotate, but Rodin’s most famous works are always on view, including “The Thinker,” “The Kiss,” “The Gates of Hell,” and “The Burghers of Calais.” On my last visit, I discovered this max model, with Rodin’s fingerprints clearly visible:
Tip: The gardens are free year round (and there are several of Rodin’s large scale works on view in the garden, including “The Thinker”). The museum is pay what you wish (there is a suggested donation of $10), although if you purchase a ticket to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, admission to this museum is included with your 2 day ticket.
Location: Center City Museum District