H. de Roos - The critique of the toronto exhibition


The Mystery Show: 49,000 Visitors Missing

According to the MacLaren Art Center, the number of visitors was even 60% higher than the 85,000 estimated by the Toronto Globe:

Number of attendence is 134 000.

[From: Letter from Mary Reid to the author, 21 Dec. 2001]

The number of 134,000 was also mentioned in the official press release issued by the Royal Ontario Museum:

From Plaster to Bronze: The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin held over to Spring, 2002

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the MacLaren Art Centre have announced an extension of the exhibition From Plaster to Bronze: The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin. Until Spring, 2002 (exact date TBA), the public may continue to enjoy this unique exhibition on the creative process of Rodin, one of the greatest sculptors in the history of Western art, in the ROM's Level Two Terrace Gallery. The ROM has welcomed more than 134,000 visitors since the opening of the Rodin exhibition last September 20th, not including tour or school groups.

"Great numbers of the public still wish to experience Rodin's genius through this beautifully-installed exhibition, so we're pleased that the ROM can accommodate a longer run," said William Moore, Director of the MacLaren Art Centre of Barrie, Ontario, the organizers of the show. "Our partnership with the ROM will help us to raise the funds needed to house this remarkable collection in Barrie in the future, while we work to confirm arrangements with other interested venues on the exhibition's world tour."

From Plaster to Bronze: The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin brings together almost 70 sculptures by Auguste Rodin, one of the seminal figures in modern art. The exhibition focuses on Rodin's unique working method, and demonstrates the development of single clay sculptures into plaster, bronze and marble versions of various sizes. His remarkable achievement, which helped to free sculpture from the academic constraints of his day, is examined through some of his most famous works in plaster and bronze, including The Kiss and The Thinker, and rare vintage photographs.

[From: R.O.M. Press Release, 20 December 2001]

Again, the press does not help us much to determine even the most simple facts. Alhough we cannot expect the Toronto Globe to print the R.O.M. press release verbally, the difference of 49,000 ( between 134,000, and 85,000 visitors) is too large to be left unexplained. Does the Toronto Globe have valid reasons to question the accuracy of the number officially released by the R.O.M.? Or is this just another move in its campaign against the Star-sponsored exhibition?




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