LAKELAND – Lakeland sculptor William Nager calls Auguste Rodin not only one of the all-time great masters, but also one of his most favorite and influential artists.
So when Nager discovered that the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College (PMOA) would spotlight Rodin, he said Lakelanders should be honored to have works by such an esteemed artist in a local exhibit. .
“Rodin: Contemplation and dreams / Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor collections” opens on June 25.
Rodin (1840-1917) was an expert in bronze sculpture employing artistic techniques associated with the art of ancient Greece.
More than 40 works by Rodin will be exhibited. Among them are some of his most important pieces, such as “St. John the Baptist Preaching” and “The Three Shades”, as well as works originally intended for his masterpiece “The Gates of Hell”.
Nager, 80, is a goldsmith and sculptor who works in aluminium, brass, bronze, copper, stainless steel and wrought iron. He has been a professional artist for 60 years as a member of the Artist Blacksmiths Association of North America and the National Ornamental Miscellaneous Metals Association.
“I appreciate his artwork and it’s a great achievement for the (PMOA) to have some of his artwork there,” he said. “I think it’s really amazing.”
Rodin is known for rekindling the appreciation of bronze sculpture. He believed it should be as true to nature as possible, which led him to create works that show human movement, emotion, and dramatic themes.
Alex Rich, Executive Director and Chief Curator of PMOA, said Rodin is one of the most iconic artists of all time and his sculptures and style are distinct and instantly recognizable. He said he was a master at casting human emotion and drama in metal.
Rich said the exhibition “Rodin: Contemplation and Dreams/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections” marks the first Rodin exhibition in the museum’s history and will be the largest sculpture collection ever on display. The collection comes from a private collection in California and the show has been in the works for three years.
“We want to bring exceptional shows to our community. This is the type of spectacle that we hope will continue to place our university community museum on the map of the art museum world,” he said. “This is an opportunity to bring the revered bronze sculptures of Rodine, arguably the most famous sculptor since Michelangelo, to the Polk Museum of Art. It was a chance that we were not going to miss. »
The exhibition “Rodin: Contemplation and Dreams” supported by the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation is sponsored by Florida Southern College, the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation, the Votum Foundation, Culture Builds Florida and the Mayor’s Council of LKLD.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO:
WHAT: “Rodin: Contemplation and dreams / Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor collections.
WHEN: June 25 to October 20; Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.; Closed Mondays and holidays.
WHERE: Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College, 800 E. Palmetto St., Lakeland
INFORMATION: 863-688-7743; www.polkmuseumofart.org