Auguste Rodin [1840-1917]
The age of bronze | 1876
Ranging from The Age of Bronze (1876) by Rodin, Cactus Man (1936) by Julio González, Henry Moore’s Large Locking Piece, and the wire sculptures (1969) of Fred Sandback to CELL XXVI by Louise Bourgeois, Kunstmuseum Den Haag has a remarkable collection of international modern sculpture.
Sculpture was at a low ebb in the late 19th century. As painters experimented with a whole range of colours, sculptors had little opportunity to do so, and were restricted to working in bronze and marble. Furthermore, there were only two subjects: humans and animals. Liberating itself from its traditional function as monument or a mere decorative element of architecture, in the twentieth century sculpture finally emerged from the shadow of painting to play a catalytic role in the development of modern art.
It was once said that the Netherlands was no place for sculpture. Kunstmuseum Den Haag’s exhibitions policy proves otherwise, however. The museum has been organising cutting-edge modern sculpture exhibitions since the 1930s, including a major Auguste Rodin exhibition in 1930, the Minimal Art exhibition in 1968, Constantin Brancusi (1970), Alberto Giacometti (1986) and the major review ‘From Rodin to Bourgeois: Sculpture in the 20th Century’ (2016).
Kunstmuseum Den Haag is proud to house one of the finest international sculpture collections in the Netherlands. Auguste Rodin’s The Age of Bronze (1876) was added to the collection in 1930, followed a few years later by Aristide Maillol’s Île de France (1920-1925). A number of important sculptures were acquired in the 1950s and 60s, including La petite danseuse (1878) by Edgar Degas, Pomona (1949) by Marino Marini, Julio Gonzàlez’s famous Cactus Man (1939) and Large Locking Piece (1963-1964) by Henry Moore. More recent sculpture acquisitions include CELL XXV (2003) by Louise Bourgeois, Fred Sandback’s wire sculptures (1969 and 1988), and Paul Thek’s Technological Reliquary made in 1965. The museum grounds also feature a number of impressive sculptures by David Bade, Donald Judd, Henry Moore and the recently acquired Antony Gormley.
Étude de nu pour la petite danseuse habillée | design c. 1878, cast after 1917