H. de Roos - The critique of the toronto exhibition


A "Widely Derided Exhibition" Attracts 134,000 Visitors

Newspapers like the Toronto Globe (the main competitor of the Toronto Star - another sponsor of the R.O.M. show) have spread massive negative publicity about the Toronto exhibition, referring to it as "a widely derided exhibition of Rodin fakes". By the middle of December 2001, the Globe sneered the show was due to be "returned to sender":

It's getting to be return-to-sender time for the much-debated exhibition of Auguste Rodin plasters and bronzes at Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum.

The show, which opened in September, closes on Dec. 23, and it seems almost certain the 60-plus works will be staying in Southern Ontario. Where precisely is somewhat up in the air. The ROM has no spare storage space and Barrie's plucky but modest-sized MacLaren Art Centre, which loaned ROM the works, certainly doesn't have the room, even with its recently opened addition.

You may recall that the original plan was for the Rodins to circulate among other museums and galleries in North America, Europe and Asia for two or three years before returning to Barrie.

This is not panning out. There had been the hope that the Vancouver Art Gallery might pick up the plasters after the ROM. After all, three of the major donors to the show -- Martin Johnson, James Longo and Gerald Wittenberg -- are from there.

A spokesman for the VAG said last week that curators there did look at the Rodin show but finally passed on it. Institutions in Japan and South Korea also passed.

[From an article by James Adams of 8 Dec. 2001 in the Toronto Globe]

But since the press scandal obviously has not deterred the public from viewing the plasters, the Royal Ontario Museum now announced to keep the show for four more months:

The Rodin exhibition at the ROM has been extended to the end of May 2002. Due to a really positive response from the public [ the ROM states that this is the most popular show they have had in years] they have decided to hold it over.

[From: Letter from Mary Reid to the author, 20 Dec. 2001]




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