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35 works by Rodin, 7 by his contemporaries, given to Stanford

STANFORD -- Philanthropist and art collector B. Gerald Cantor and his wife, Iris, have donated 35 important Rodin bronzes and plasters to the Stanford University Museum of Art.

This gift brings to 187 the number of Rodins given to the museum by the Cantors. In addition, to provide the Rodins with a context within 19th-century art, the gift includes seven bronzes by contemporaries of Rodin.

The single most important Rodin in the Cantor gift is the life- sized work The Three Shades, which will be added to the B. Gerald Cantor Rodin Sculpture Garden next to the museum. When the work is installed, the public will be able to compare it with the trio's origin in Rodin's Gates of Hell, which is the focal point of the garden.

The Cantor gift, appraised at $11.6 million, includes many works that had been on loan to Stanford, and are already installed in the garden, as well as other campus locations.

Among these are: the Gates of Hell, Eve, Cybele, Meditation (without arms), Caryatid with Stone, Bastien Lepage, Claude Lorrain, Orpheus, Andrieu d'Andres and the Head of Jean d'Aire, all in the Rodin Sculpture Garden; sculptures from Rodin's monument to The Burghers of Calais, Eustache de St. Pierre, Jean de Fiennes and Pierre de Wiessant, all located in the Stanford Quad; and the monumental Bust of Victor Hugo, installed in the lobby of Green Library.

Also among the gifts is a silver-patinated Bust of Mrs. Russell, whom Rodin thought the most beautiful woman in France.

While the museum, which has been closed since it was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, is being rebuilt, several of the Rodins included in this recent gift, including two studies for the Monument to Balzac, are on loan to the San Jose Museum of Art.

Cantor expressed his interest in making the Rodins available for public learning and enjoyment at Stanford. "It is an honor for Iris and me to be able to share these masterworks with others," he said. "We are committed to fostering appreciation of Rodin's work and to continue our support of Rodin scholarship at Stanford University."

In accepting the gift, Thomas K. Seligman, the John and Jill Freidenrich Director of the Stanford Museum of Art, expressed his thanks to the Cantors for "this magnificent gift which will continue to enrich the lives of the community as well as the academic programs of the university."

Albert Elsen, professor of art history at Stanford and a Rodin scholar, said that the Cantors' donations "further secure the position of the Stanford University Museum of Art as having the second largest and most important collection of Rodin sculpture in the world." The world's leading collection is in Paris.



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