Philadelphia's Rodin Museum sits on the city's Benjamin Franklin Parkway and just unveiled a massive renovation of its gardens by the landscape firm Olin. We take a tour of the newly renovated gardens.
A couple of weeks ago, on Bastille Day, July 14, I was invited to visit the unveiling of the garden renovation at Philadelphia's Rodin Museum, conceived and overseen by the landscape firm Olin. The date was fitting for the event, as both the Rodin Museum and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, on which the museum is located, were both inspired by French antecedents.
Philadelphia's Rodin Museum was started by an endowment of Rodin's pieces by Jules Mastbaum (1872-1926), a Philadelphia movie theater magnate. Mastbaum had hired landscape architect Jacques Gréber (1882-1962) and architect Paul Phillipe Cret (1876-1945) to design the museum and gardens.
Mastbaum was a great admirer of Auguste Rodin and of Rodin's home in Meudon, where Rodin displayed a limestone gateway that he had bought from the 18th-century Chateau d'Issy.
Here, at the entrance to the museum, a cast of Rodin's "The Thinker" sits in front of a reproduction of the Meudon Gate, designed by Gréber and Cret, and which was repointed, cleaned, and restored as part of the renovation.