H. de Roos - Towards a catalog of the Maclaren collection

A discussion with Gary Arseneau and Dr David Schaff (11)

Casting History and Signatures As Indications Of Age (1)

Mary Reid´s answer to my pre-scientific objections admits, that her assessment of the age of the plasters may need confirmation by technical experts:

To try to reply to some of your previous emails:

I have asked Elizabeth Zimnica, Registrar, to send you the conservation report so you should be receiving that shortly.

In regards to plaster dating it is very hard for me to even make really an educated guess.
This is an area I really have very little knowledge, but this said, with all the high tech gadgets that scientists have these days, I see no reason why we could not accurately date the plasters. Forensic and Anthropologist scientists do it all the time.

Again - the issue is money. I imagine these tests will cost quite a bit.

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

Even with the high-tech methods modern laboratories have to offer, it will be difficult to draw a line between a plaster made in 1915 and one produced in 1920, if there is only the physical state of the material to build an analysis on.

For this reason, the casting history of single sculptures and the signatures found on the plasters must be examined as well. In a message I picked up in an Internetcafé during my Christmas holidays in Budapest, Gary Arseneau once more insisted that the "A. Rodin" signature stamps on the plasters would indicate they were produced only 40-50 years after Rodin´s death:

(...) The Musee Rodin has documented in a Februay 2, 2000 Musee Rodin letter to me (on page 10 of my "Deception" presentation and also on the Musee Rodin's website under their "Meudon" collection section), that they do not send original Auguste Rodin plasters to the foundries for their posthumous reproduction in bronze but send plaster reproductions of the original plasters. 
The United Kingdom's Guardian newspaper documents in their October 2, 2001 article "I think, but I'm not quite sure who I am", that the Musee Rodin's curator Antoinette Romain' "says only posthumous plasters were signed - these date from the 1950s, and could have been made from moulds taken from other plasters. " So are we to accept, without any documentation, the MacLaren Art Centre's "in {his} opinion" expert Dr. Schaff's that these "foundry" and/or "studio or foundry" plasters are not part of the documented Musee Rodin's posthumous practice of reproducing plaster copies to send to the foundries? (....)

[From: Letter from Gary Arseneau to the author, 26 Dec. 2001]




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