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Festival Rodin Celebrates 17 Weeks of Great Works

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RALEIGH — The largest Rodin exhibition ever in the Southeast is ready to open this weekend at theNorth Carolina Museum of Art.

A steady rain falls down on"The Thinker"as the famous sculpture prepares to greet visitors for the largest exhibition ofAuguste Rodin's work in 20 years.

Inside the museum, Rodin's fascination with the human body is evident in more than 120 works. Some are simply parts of the body -- heads and hands.

"Rodin's canvas, if you will, is the human body," says museum curator David Steel. "He uses it to show emotion, beauty, power, life, death."

"The Hand of God" has not been seen in public for almost 100 years, and has never been on display in the U.S.

"It's only going to be here for the exhibition, then it's going back to the Palais in Paris for maybe another 100 years," Steel says.

Some of the works are made of plaster. Many are made of marble. And many are original bronze casts, which the French government limited to a dozen. Steel traveled the world to orchestrate the exhibition. He is expecting 250,000 people to visit the museum and leave with a lasting impression.

Admission is $7.50 for adults, $5.50 for seniors and children.

Festival Rodintakes place from April 16 through August 13.