H. de Roos - The critique of the toronto exhibition

6. The absence of a catalog would impair an evaluation of the plasters (1)

Je constate tout d'abord l'absence de catalogue pour cette exposition pourtant bruyamment annoncée par le R.O.M. Cela parait à première vue totalement incompréhensible vis à vis du visiteur, au regard de son information la plus élémentaire.

[Letter from Jacques Vilain to the MacLaren Art Center; copy sent to the author, 12 Oct. 2001]

An Incomprehensible Policy

Even if we know the Paris institution received extensive documentation in an early stage and apparently considered itself sufficiently informed to condemn the plasters in a world-wide press release, it is evident the absence of a catalog, presenting the research done till now and addressing the questions that still remain, is a major handicap for anyone seriously interested in this collection.

According to the MacLaren Art Centre, there had been not enough time and money to produce a proper catalog to the show, that was organized in only a six months period. Instead, the curatorial team  is planning to publish a "post mortem" book on the exhibition.

This will certainly contain a most interesting documentation, but it will come too late to inform visitors. It is truely astonishing that the Canadian Museums, even after the press scandal was launched by the end of July,  have not seen the need to compile and publish at least a provisory catalog on the plasters, addressing the most urgent questions of provenance, casting and transaction history, and quality. If a budget of Can $ 40,000 would have been reserved for such a publication (just 0.1% of the estimated donation value of Can $ 40 Million), this might have prevented much confusion and irritation.

Although William Moore defended the plasters in press interviews and claimed they were made during Rodin´s lifetime, no evidence was quoted to substantiate this. And even these press statements were not included in the materials the invited symposium speakers received, so that I had to search the Internet to find them.

In this sense, Jacques Vilain was right when he wrote:

J'ai bien reçu votre courrier du 27 septembre relatif à un colloque qui serait organisé au
R.O.M. le 6 novembre.

Je suis parfaitement surpris de la vacuité des documents l'accompagnant.

[Letter from Jacques Vilain to the MacLaren Art Center; copy sent to the author, 12 Oct. 2001]




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