Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Museum of Art



Steve Christensen

Rodin Exhibition Headlines Summer Line-Up at LUMA

French-Themed Shows Unveiled on June 13 


CHICAGO, June 1, 2009 – On Saturday, June 13, the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) will unveil Rodin: In His Own Words—Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation and Paris–Chicago: The Photography of Jean-Christophe Ballot—An Architectural Dialogue. Both French-themed exhibitions will be on display through Sunday, August 16, 2009. 

Rodin: In His Own Words—Selections from the
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation 

This traveling exhibition, organized and made possible by the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, has toured the United States since 2004 and is making its final stop at LUMA. A collection of 36 of Auguste Rodin’s bronze sculptures paired with his published writings and original letters, the exhibition presents a vibrant image of Rodin’s artistic vision. The exhibition also includes a ten-part illustration of the lost-wax casting process, four books, two letters, and large canvas photo murals. A film on the creation of Rodin’s masterpiece, The Gates of Hell, will also be shown. 

Although many examples of Rodin’s work are currently displayed in Chicago museums, this unique presentation is the first large-scale Rodin exhibition in the city in more than 20 years.  

Rodin—Larger than Life

Auguste Rodin (born François-Auguste-René Rodin in 1840) was revered and respected by his contemporaries. To this day, he remains widely recognized outside the art world. This recognition is due in part to the pervasive reproduction in popular culture of his sculpture The Thinker, which has been adapted to everything from cartoons to neckties.  

Rodin’s relationships with his lifelong companion, Rose Beuret, and the artist Camille Claudel, as well as his friendships with famous artists, writers, and statesmen of his time, have been the subject of a number of books and films and have enhanced the artist’s larger-than-life stature. In addition to Rodin’s success as a sculptor, during his lifetime his views on art were greatly respected and disseminated through several books (written both by the artist and by biographers), in interviews, and in countless letters. Presented together in this exhibition, these texts offer a rare insight into the great sculptor and his work. 

History of Rodin’s Work

Rodin broke from the long-standing 18th- and 19th-century traditions of representing mythological themes in a formulaic, stylistic manner, and thus encountered early criticism of his work. Whereas many contemporary artists had attempted to express the ideal, Rodin cast sculptures with a highly individualistic and expressive surface, celebrating the human spirit by clearly depicting a range of human emotions and physicality. The artist also emphasized the humanness of his craft. A characteristic of Rodin’s bronzes is the lingering presence of his own hands on the original clay models. Regardless of subject matter or scale, each sculpture in its subsequent casts clearly shows the working of the clay.  

In 1916, a year prior to Rodin’s death, the artist formally, and legally, left to the French government all the works in his possession, including his plaster models and the rights of reproduction. In doing so, the Musée Rodin (a French, state–owned museum) was given the right to create posthumous casts from each of the existing plaster maquettes in the estate. In 1956, French law limited the production to 12 casts of each piece. 

The Cantor Collection is Born

B. Gerald Cantor, the founder of Cantor Fitzgerald—a global financial services firm—began his collection of Rodin’s work in 1945 after he was deeply moved by the sight of Rodin’s The Hand of God at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Cantor purchased a bronze version of this sculpture and eventually came to assemble the world’s largest and most comprehensive private collection of Rodin’s work. He and his wife, Iris, have accumulated approximately 750 Rodin sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and memorabilia. Museums all over the country have benefited from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation’s gifts of over 450 works by Rodin, and Iris Cantor continues the family’s legacy through loans from the collection.

Rodin: In His Own Words—Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation is generously sponsored by Baxter International Inc., with additional support from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. 

Paris–Chicago: The Photography of 
Jean-Christophe Ballot—An Architectural Dialogue 

In this exhibition, prominent French architectural photographer Jean-Christophe Ballot celebrates the unique relationship between sister cities Chicago and Paris. Concentrating on the formal elements of light, volume, and composition, the artist juxtaposes views of the two cities in a visual dialogue. When presented side by side, the black-and-white photographs, which capture the historic architecture of Paris and include subjects from the Louvre, the Musée Rodin, and Rodin’s studio in Meudon, provide a stark contrast to Chicago’s 20th-century architecture.  

In 2006, Jean-Christophe Ballot photographed the city of Chicago for inclusion in his mid-career retrospective, Urban Landscapes, at Paris’s prestigious Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP). Only a few of the Chicago images were displayed there, making this exhibition the first to show the full range of his Chicago photography.  

Ballot, who began using a camera at age four, still shoots with a traditional 4 x 5 view camera and often prints in black and white to enhance the interplay of light and shadows. His sensitivity to the demanding nature of architectural photography comes from his formal training as an architect.une fois qu'on a porté ce regard, on peut le raconter. 

His work is included in collections in Chicago (Art Institute, Field Museum, and Loyola University Museum of Art), New York (Metropolitan Museum of Art), and Paris (Carnavalet Museum, European House of Photography, the Louvre, Musée Rodin, the National Collection of Contemporary Art, the National Library,l’Orangerie, the Palais de Tokyo, and the Petit Palais, among others).  

Il ne se passe rien, mais il ya un contenu. This exhibition is being held in partnership with the Alliance Française de Chicago, the French Cultural Services in Chicago, and the City of Paris – Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional promotional support is provided by the Paris Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International Program. The exhibition is organized by Jennifer Norback of Fine Art, Inc. Paris–Chicago is also partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. 

Museum hours are Tuesday, 11 a.m.–8 p.m. and Wednesday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Admission: $6 general; $5 for seniors; free for students under 25 with ID; free admission on Tuesdays. For more information, call 312.915.7600 or visit LUC.edu/luma. 

Public Programs 

Lecture with Photographer Jean-Christophe Ballot
Thursday, June 18, at 6 p.m. 
Alliance Française - 54 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago

French photographer Jean-Christophe Ballot and Parisian gallerist and art history professor Chris Boïcos will discuss the Paris–Chicago exhibition at this free event. Ballot and Boïcos will alternate between French and English as they elucidate the old world/new world vision of one of France’s most prominent architectural and urban photographers. Following the lecture, sample Ballot’s photography while enjoying a glass of wine. For additional information, and to make reservations, please call 312.337.1070. 

“Paris by the Lake”
Monday, June 22, 5:30 p.m.
LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Avenue and 51 E. Pearson St. 

LUMA’s annual fundraising gala will be held on Monday, June 22, 2009, when it hosts “Paris by the Lake,” on Loyola’s Water Tower Campus. The event, to be held in conjunction with the museum’s blockbuster summer exhibition Rodin: In His Own Words—Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, will recreate a lively French market and offer guests the unique opportunity to taste French cuisine created by some of Chicago’s top chefs. 

Admission is $150 per person for the general public, and $125 per person for LUMA members. Individuals interested in buying a ticket for the gala and becoming a LUMA member can do so for $175. To register, please call 312.915.7662 or visit LUC.edu/luma. 

Meet the Artist of Paris-Chicago
Tuesday, June 23, at 6 p.m. (in English) / 7 p.m. (in French)
LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Avenue 

Photographer Jean-Christophe Ballot will discuss his work as an architectural photographer and his Paris-Chicago exhibition. This event is free and open to the public. 

Members' Opening Reception                                                                                                               Friday, June 26, at 5:30 p.m.                                                                                                          LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Avenue

Join LUMA as they celebrate the opening of Rodin: In His Own Words-Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation and Paris-Chicago. This event is free for LUMA members and $15 for non-members.

Fine or Faux
Tuesday, June 30, at 6 p.m. 
LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Avenue 

Steven Zick, vice president of Christie’s, Inc., Chicago, will discuss the world of fine art auctioneers at this free event. He will address the concept of the original in art and how art specialists determine authenticity. Aperitifs from Ferrand Cognac will be served. This event is free. 

Exhibition Walk-Thru
Tuesday, July 7, at 6 p.m. 
LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Avenue

Join us for a free walk-thru of Rodin: In His Own Words—Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation and Paris–Chicago with LUMA’s Curator of Education, Ann Meehan. 

Auguste Rodin, Sculptor
Saturday, July 11, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. 
LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Avenue 

View this video documentary directed by Michaël Gaumnitz, written by Marie Sellier, and produced by Esther Hoffenberg. The documentary is 30 minutes in duration and is in English. The showing is made possible by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is free with museum admission. 

Talk, Tour, and Taste: French Pastry School
Tuesday, July 14, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 
The French Pastry School, 226 W. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago 

Calling all culinary enthusiasts and Francophiles! Join us for a rare opportunity to learn the art of pastry in an intimate setting. The visit will also feature a behind-the-scenes tour and tasting with world-renowned chef Jacquy Pfeiffer. Admission is $20 for LUMA members and $25 for non-members. To reserve your spot, call 312.915.7630. 

Two Magnificent Obsessions
Tuesday, July 21, at 6 p.m. 
LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Avenue 

In this free, illustrated talk Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation director Judith Sobol will discuss B. Gerald Cantor’s obsession with Rodin and his art and Rodin’s drive to transform the aesthetic of sculpture from narrative to one that is highly evocative and personal—a change that led directly to modernism. Her talk will put Rodin’s and Cantor’s lives in context while exploring their passion’s legacies. 

History of French Pastry: The Classics and Modern French Twists
Tuesday, July 28, at 6 p.m. 
LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Avenue 

Join the dynamic duo of Kelli and Dimitri Fayard, co-chefs and co-owners of Vanille Patisserie, as they lead guests on a scrumptious journey through the history of French pastry. Guests will be treated to an artful array of pastries that combine classic European traditions with modern flavors. Tableware and settings courtesy of Geneviève Lethu. Admission is $15 for LUMA members and $20 for non-members. 

A French Cheese Course by Sofia Solomon
Tuesday, August 4, at 6 p.m. 
LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Avenue

Sofia Solomon, a noted affineur (person who works in the production and care of cheese) in Chicago and owner of Tekla, Inc., supplier of French cheeses to Chicago’s elite restaurants, will guide guests through the art of fine French cheese making and tasting. Tableware and settings courtesy of Geneviève Lethu. Admission is $15 for LUMA members and $20 for non-members. 

Early Genius: Music in the Time of Rodin
Tuesday, August 4, at 7:30 p.m.
LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Avenue 

Enjoy a free evening of French music by the versatile and virtuosic members of the New Millennium Orchestra. Explore the parallel artistic vision and classic inspiration of Rodin, Debussy, and Ravel.  

Auguste Rodin, Sculptor
Tuesday, August 11, at 6 p.m. 
LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Avenue

View this video documentary directed by Michaël Gaumnitz, written by Marie Sellier, and produced by Esther Hoffenberg. The documentary is 30 minutes in duration and is in English. The showing is made possible by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is free of admission.

About LUMA
Opened in 2005, the Loyola University Museum of Art is dedicated to exploring, promoting, and understanding art and artistic expression that illuminates the enduring spiritual questions of all cultures and societies. As a museum with an interest in education and educational programming, LUMA reflects the University’s Jesuit mission and is dedicated to helping people of all creeds explore the roots of their faith and spiritual quests. Located at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus, the museum occupies the first three floors of the University’s historic Lewis Towers on Chicago’s famous Michigan Avenue. For more information, visit the museum’s website at LUC.edu/luma.

Art illuminating the spirit!