Friday, October 01, 2010

The object(s) #18 Young Girl with Roses in her Hair, Rodin

One large room at the Maryhill Museum is filled with sculpture by Auguste Rodin. Quite remarkable for such a small museum to have so many pieces by Rodin. Rodin was a friend of Loie Fuller, who was the friend of Sam Hill who was persuaded to turn his mansion into a museum. Good connections!

Rodin is famous for massive work of strength and power and there is a good bit of that represented in the Maryhill collection, but this lovely piece is a quiet, life-sized bust of a young girl. As I walked through the Rodin exhibit, I kept coming back to her. I know I have seen her there before, but on yesterday's visit she kept drawing me back. A sweet subject, but her expression is thoughtful. She is watching something off to her left. She looks as if she was about to speak, but was distracted by what she sees. A rabbit in the grass? Someone coming up her walk? We'll never know. When I came home and was looking at my photos last night I was remembering this piece.

The thing, for me, about looking at art is that on any given day something different will strike a chord. It is not enough to see something once and then know that you've seen it and move on. Sometimes you don't really see it the first time. On the other hand, sometimes a piece must be seen again simply because it is an old friend that tells you something new with every visit. That is why anytime I find myself in Chicago I will go to the Art Institute and look, once again, at Toulouse-Lautrec's At The Moulin Rouge , for example. It is why I would love to go back to great museums I have visited in the past, as well as see those I have yet to see. And why I enjoy every trip to the Maryhill Museum as much as the last.

I know there are people who have never been to an art museum. I know there are people who are bored, or think of museum visits like eating vegetables—good for you, but more a duty than a pleasure. I even know people who go to Paris and don't go to the Louvre! To each his own, but to me art museums are one of life's greatest pleasures, and I am so grateful for the people who have shared their good fortune and wealth in this way.


  1. Absolutely....I am changed each time I see art, even it I have seen the piece before....maybe it is like a runner's "high", something that releases endorphins. When I win the lottery I will have an apartment in every city that has a great museum ;-))

  2. There is something quite mesmerizing about this young girl's face. It's as if she could come alive and walk out of the clay in search of whatever caught her eye.

    I love good art in small doses. I soak it up for about an hour and then reach my limit, whereupon everything starts to look the same. That's why the DC (national) museums are so wonderful since they are FREE!

  3. I love the photo you took of the young girl. She is simply beautiful and thoughtful. I have to share with you something, my 20 year old son traveled in Europe this summer and in one of his emails he said he was very happy I had exposed him to Art Museums and he visited the Louvre and several other art museums and even told me about his favorite paintings, this is my math and science kid.... :-)