Californians have the good fortune of being able to enjoy Rodin’s iconic sculpture in some beautiful out-of-door settings. Recently Modern Family, one of television’s most popular and honored shows, filmed at LACMA and we caught four of its stars enjoying the Museum’s B. Gerald Cantor Sculpture Garden.
Iris Cantor, President and Chairman of the Cantor Foundation, was honored on April 9 by the Bard Graduate Center for her support for the arts. She received the Center’s Iris Foundation Award for outstanding patronage. Other awardees were Dame Rosalind Savill for outstanding achievement in scholarship, and Dr. Finbarr Barry Flood, outstanding mid-career scholar. The awards were presented by Susan Weber, Founder and Director of Bard Graduate Center.
In introducing Mrs. Cantor, Ms. Weber recognized her exemplary support for the arts and the cultural institutions that present them, as well as her inspiring work in improving health care for women. She expressed ”gratitude for your passionate commitment to enriching museums and other educational institutions across the country. Your achievements as a patron and an advocate for the arts and scholarship inspire us all. This is the true spirit of the Iris Award, and we are delighted to salute and celebrate your work today.”
The Iris Foundation Awards were created in 1997 to recognize scholars, patrons, and professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the study and appreciation of the decorative arts and thereby help to sustain world cultural heritage. The Awards are named for Susan Weber’s mother, Iris Weber. The Bard Graduate Center’s gallery exhibitions, MA and PhD programs, and research initiatives explore new ways of thinking about decorative arts, design history, and material culture. Located in New York City, it is a unit of Bard College.
The Passions of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux opened to critical acclaim on March 10 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Sponsored by the Cantor Foundation, with additional support provided by the Gail and Parker Gilbert Fund and the Diane W. and James E. Burke Fund, the show is another in a series of important exhibitions about sculpture that have been presented to the public through significant support from the Cantor Foundation.
This exhibition of 160 works (including sculptures, paintings, and drawings) is organized around major projects that Carpeaux (1827–1875) undertook during his brief career. Groupings of drawings and models trace the evolution of such masterpieces as the Musée d’Orsay’s marble Prince Impérial with his Dog Nero and the Metropolitan’s own Ugolino and His Sons, also in marble. The artist’s genius for portraiture and modeling in clay shines particularly in this major retrospective. (Carpeaux’s work was to be an important influence on Rodin, who was a child of 13 when Carpeaux died. The older artist was to Rodin a technical marvel whose aesthetic choices represented much that the younger artist spent his career working to change.)
Writing in the exhibition’s catalog, also sponsored by the Cantor Foundation and by the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Inc., Iris Cantor expressed her admiration for the project: “This exhibition and this catalogue have been monumental undertakings. We congratulate all who have contributed to this effort. We are proud to play a role in sharing it.”
The exhibition was curated by James David Draper of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Edouard Papet of the Musée d’Orsay, and organized by the Met and the Musée d’Orsay. It closes in New York on May 26.
Stanford University surgeon Dr. James Chang is fascinated by Rodin’s hands. He has developed and is teaching a course titled “Surgical Anatomy of the Hand: From Rodin to Reconstruction” in which he combines 3D scans of the sculpture with medical imaging of human bones, nerves, and blood vessels. Currently Stanford’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Arts is featuring a collaboration between Dr. Chang and its Curator of European Art, Bernard Barryte. Inside Rodin’s Hands: Art, Technology, and Surgery, on view at the museum until August 3, explores Rodin’s hands as art and as science.
In the exhibition Chang and his students describe the medical conditions that inform each of the hands. Rodin was fascinated by the expressive capacity of hands and he often exhibited them apart from the rest of the body. Although art scholars have long been interested in the medical issues of some of Rodin’s hands, this is the fist exhibition to address them from a medical point of view and using modern technology. The Rodin artworks are complemented by photographs of patients’ hands who have various conditions ranging from ganglion cysts to thumb amputation to fractures, and by medical texts and illustrations from the 16th to 19th centuries. The exhibition also uses today’s digital technology to further reveal the information in the sculpture.
“I wanted to participate in this exhibition for the same reason I introduced Rodin into my seminar: to get students in the humanities excited about the sciences, and to get doctors to step out of the hospital to appreciate art,” Chang says. “I have found that artists and surgeons appreciate human anatomy with equal passion.”
On March 1st, Concordia College’s OSilas Gallery presented its first annual STAR Award to the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation. Judith Sobol, Executive Director of the Foundation, accepted the Award at the Gallery’s annual Gala. The Star Award recognizes organizations that have shown a strong commitment to the arts and have supported the OSilas Gallery in achieving its mission: to integrate the visual arts into the cultural and educational life of the campus and community by providing quality exhibitions and programs that are diverse in style, content, and media; memorable, thought-provoking, and spiritually enriching; and of artistic originality, integrity, and excellence.
The Cantor Foundation loaned an important group of Rodin portraits to OSilas in the fall of 2013 and the Gallery created a lively exhibition around it. Its show, The Bronze Age, included demonstrations of artists modeling portraits and of bronze casting, as well as a trip to Philadelphia to visit the Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania (which was exhibiting concurrently a large group of Rodin’s figures, also loaned by the Cantor Foundation) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Rodin Museum.
During October 2013 — National Humanities Month — Bronxville, New York, home to Concordia College and its OSilas Gallery, celebrated the Rodin exhibition by changing the name of the village to Bronzeville!