Philadelphia

What is a Media Day: THE NEWLY REJUVINATED RODIN MUSEUM LANDSCAPE, but what the museum is closing??

No longer will the gardens of the Rodin be as daunting as
French artist Auguste Rodin’s ”La Porte de l’Enfer’ or Gates of Hell at the entrance of the famed artists museum.
The grounds in which the Thinker resides has just emerged from an extensive renovation.
Today leaders of the city’s cultural and philanthropic communities celebrated the rejuvenation of the Rodin grounds including the courtyard and exterior gardens, which now enhance the entire block between 21st and 22nd Streets on the Parkway. The three-year collaborative project restores the site’s harmony of art and nature.
At the ceremony were
Constance H. Williams, Chair, Board of Trustees, Philadelphia Museum of ArtGail Harrity, President and COO, Philadelphia Museum of ArtDrew Becher, President, Pennsylvania Horticultural SocietyMichael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources, City of PhiladelphiaDonald Kimelman, Managing Director of the Philadelphia Program, The Pew Charitable TrustsTimothy Rub, Director and CEO, Philadelphia Museum of ArtGail Harrity, President and COO, Philadelphia Museum of Art speaking to a reporter about the new landscape
A Media Day is when an organization, whether it’s a restaurant, store, event, moment, new item or in this case a museum, invites all the press to check out their brand spanking new something, usually before the public which is how we like it. Then each of us usually write a piece on the “story”. I like to tell the behind the story story in addition to promoting said event, highlighting what I think might interest you. It’s kinda fun to be the first to see a product brand new spanky sparkly like the grounds of the Rodin Museum.
Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources, City of Philadelphia and Drew Becher, President, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Although many agencies were involved in this project, the PHS worked alongside OLIN landscape architects coordinating with the placement and design of the gardens, and will manage the maintenance going forward.A media tour of the restored interior and exterior gardens led by OLIN landscape architect Susan Weiler (blue dress)
Timothy Rub, Director and CEO, Philadelphia Museum of Art chatting with guests as a photographer captures the moment and a STARR Restaurants Catering server returns glasses to the kitchen.
Olin’s designed pays homage to the simplicity and complexity of both Paul Philippe Cret and Jacques Greber, the collaborators on the original building of the Rodin museum in 1926
One of the most dramatic changes to the garden is the return of the sculptures that were always meant to be placed there like “The Burghers of Calais” repositioned here in the east garden where it was removed in 1955. Two free standing, life size bronzes, The Age of Bronze and Eve” will be placed in the niches in the front of the building, where they were originally designed to be placed.

Admission is free, but there is a suggested donation of $5 to view the collection. The Rodin Museum is one of the gems along the parkway. They received several hundred visitors a day, but now with the rejuvenation and future projects, especially having the Barnes as a neighbor, I suspect that number will go up. So my suggestion is to go right now to really enjoy the museum at your leisure.
John mans the Rodin Museum gift shop. It’s a snazzy place with lots of info on the museum there.
The larger Thinker sculpture is only $100. There’s snow globes, paper, post-its, books, magnets and posters.
When I was a paralegal I walked by the Rodin to and from my home past the museum.Which reminds me the back path shortcut to Whole Foods, and the Parkway, which used to be a beat up road and dirt, is now a paved pathway for the peeps from Fairmount and North Philly to use. It really does cut off 3 minutes of your walk and is so much prettier than the Wawa and the Precinct.
Anyway, the new grounds are beautiful and I am excited to experience the museum and beauty of the grounds again. I have many photos of the Thinker in every season, as well as the gardens beyond the wrought iron gate, in fact my favorite shot was after an ice storm at sunset and it hangs on my wall in my living room. I have a personal connection with these grounds, and now I am excited to see the results after years of renovations of the Thinker and now the gardens. Walking home, or wandering around it will definitely be a must stop for reflection, reading and catching a few rays. The bad news is after 9/6/11 the museum will close until the Spring of 2012 so that it can undergo a renovation as well as reinterpret the collection. The gardens and grounds will remain open during what would normally be museum hours.