The Thinker by Auguste Rodin is one of the most famous and iconic sculptures of all time. A piece that is much admired and much loved, the 1904 sculpture is currently housed in Paris at the Rodin museum, but there are also numerous later casts that are housed around the world. What some people may not realise though, is that the larger cast is based on a much smaller, original version, from 1881, and that one of those earlier casts is now on display at the New Walsall Art Gallery.
The sculpture is on display as part of an exhibition that is on until the end of April. ‘Rodin:Rethinking the Fragment’ looks not just at Rodin and his inspirations (including the sculptures of Ancient Greece and Rome) but also at the legions of artists who followed Rodin and were inspired by him.
This ties in so well with Walsall, which is home, of course, to the formidable Garmen Ryan collection, a priceless collection of art and sculpture that was curated by Kathleen Garmen, a Wednesbury born lady who was the wife and muse of Jacob Epstein. The Garmen Ryan collection is a stunning collection of sculpture that includes busts and casts of some of Epstein’s daughters including Kitty and the tragic Esther, as well as models of the girls when they were babies, and much loved pets too.
The Midlands is currently being blessed with art exhibitions which are bringing some of the most iconic pieces of art work to the region. Already 2019 has seen the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition in Birmingham, Rodin in Walsall and Matisse in Wolverhampton, as well as the return of Wolverhampton’s frankly amazing Pop Art exhibition. The beauty of these exhibitions are that they are free to enjoy, and so you really need to make sure you catch them before they go.
Rodin: Rethinking the Fragment
Until 29th April
Click here to visit The New Walsall Art Gallery