The Aristorian: Rodin at the MMFA

Adad Hannah's Unwrapping Rodin. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Photo Cassandra Marsillo. Adad Hannah's Unwrapping Rodin. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Photo Cassandra Marsillo.

A few weeks ago, Montreal greeted a very special visitor at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I should say, special visitors. Three hundred visitors to be exact. For some, it is their first time in North America, and they’ll be here until October 18th.

I’m not talking about the tourists trying to take in as much of our sporadic sunny weather as they can. I’m talking about the incredible Rodin pieces featured in the exhibit Rodin Metamorphoses: In Rodin’s Studio, which opened at the MMFA on May 30th. Armed with my phone for sneaky pictures (although, you’re allowed to take pictures apparently, so bring your camera!), my friend and I made our way through the Wednesday-morning museum crowd ogling the plaster, marble and bronze masterpieces.

The exhibit features maquettes, models and multiples, giving viewers a glimpse into Rodin’s creative process. We also saw some repurposed combinations: Rodin would take, for example, a figure from an old maquette and combine it with another to create a whole new narrative. You’ll also get to stand in the same room as The Thinker.

Touching Rodin's fingerprint. MMFA. Photo Cassandra Marsillo.

Touching Rodin’s fingerprint. MMFA. Photo Cassandra Marsillo.

The curators included photographs by Eugène Druet, who worked closely with Rodin during his lifetime. Further along, viewers are treated to “Rodin revisited.” Works by Denys Arcand and Adad Hannah speak to Rodin’s classic works through contemporary conversation.

The best part of the exhibit, however, is right at the end. And no, it’s not the gift shop. The final room encourages you to touch – yes, touch – models of Rodin’s iconic works. We ran in excitedly, touching the samples of clay, bronze, plaster and marble, something we had been dying to do throughout the entire exhibit.

Don’t forget to pinch The Thinker’s bum on the way out for good luck.

Rodin is at the MMFA until October 18.

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