National Museums Liverpool have kept me busy the past few days, there’s lots of new things happening. This story about all the Walkers collection of 6 Rodins coming from a house in Blundellsands is very interesting, I should try and make it to the talks.
Six sculptures by the legendary French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917) are on display at the Walker Art Gallery from 28 April to 28 August 2006.
All were bequeathed to the Walker in the 1920s by wealthy Liverpool wine merchant James Smith, who once owned more works by Rodin than any other British public or private collection.
Smith bought the the sculptures between 1899 and 1907. He visited Rodin in his Paris studio in 1903 and ordered the marble version of ‘The Death of Athens’. All were displayed in Smith’s home The Knowle, in Blundellsands, near Liverpool, together with a collection of more than 100 art works later also bequeathed to the Walker.
‘Danaid’ and ‘The Death of Athens’ were placed on turntables – supplied by Rodin – so they could be spun around and admired from all sides. Smith and Rodin corresponded and met frequently in London and Paris, which Smith often visited in the course of his business pioneering the import of Mediterranean wines into Britain.
Art historian and author Edward Morris, former curator of fine art at the Walker, will give a free slide talk about the relationship between Smith and Rodin between 1 and 2pm on Tuesday 9 May 2006. Xanthe Brooke will give a free talk at the display between 1 and 2pm on Friday 12 May 2006.