H. de Roos - The critique of the toronto exhibition



Not only the past but also the future seems to play a role when these plasters are judged.
In my extensive telephone interview on 2 October 2001, the Gruppo Mondiale spokesman purported, the donated plasters will be used to produce more posthumous casts to be disseminated through the Maclaren Museum. In the meantime, the MacLaren Museum has expressly denied such plans.

Since the Gruppo Mondiale has sold its plasters already – it has not presented them, the donation was made by a group of Canadian buyers only -, but has retained their new moulds, it certainly has a strong interest the status of its own production would be upgraded by a museum edition. The MacLaren Art Centre, on the other hand, does not feel obliged to support these interests and emphasizes, the bronzes will only be shown for educational reasons, to illustrate the outcome of the casting process:

As a public institution in Canada, the MacLaren Art Centre gives (the Gruppo Mondiale) bronzes a certain weight that they do not have on their own, for they can only be seen simply as reproductions. Many times (the Gruppo Mondiale) has presented us with the opportunity to “collaborate” (..) on a ''Museum Edition''. To my knowledge time and again we have turned down this offer. (…) The only reason the MacLaren Art Centre accepted the bronzes is for educational purposes, since the public cannot touch or feel the plasters they can engage in this way with the forms in bronze. 

[From: Letter from Mary Reid to the author, 4 Nov. 2001]

What remains is the clash of interests between the Gruppo Mondiale and the Musée Rodin, both parties issuing posthumous casts – an economic conflict the MacLaren Art Centre does not want to be involved in but can hardly run away from, since every effort by the MacLaren to demonstrate the validity and quality of its new plaster collection indirectly but undeniably promotes the cause of the Gruppo Mondiale Est. as well.

Since Paris and Toronto seem to agree that the bulk of the donated collection consists of foundry plasters– as opposed to studio or representation plasters –, the next point to examine is, what this distinction precisely means and how important it is. As we will see in Chapter 3, this will force us to examine the question of provenance, authenticity and originality once again, this time more precisely. 

We will find that neither the name of the Rudier Foundry nor the fact these plasters correspond to the bon creux moulds are any guarantee at all that Rodin ever touched, authorized or even only saw these plasters personally.




Advanced Search and Search Rules

Advanced Search & Search Rules

Terms of Use  Copyright Policy    Menu missing?  Back one page  Reload this page   Top of this page 

Notice: Museum logos appear only as buttons linking to Museum Websites and do not imply any
formal approval of RODIN-WEB pages by these institutions. For details see Copyright Policy.
© Copyright 1992 - September 2003 for data collection & design by Hans de Roos - All Rights Reserved.
Last update of this page: 17.09.2003