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Major Rodin Exhibition at the High Museum of Art This Fall 

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Auguste Rodin (French, 1840–1917), The Thinker, large version, modeled 1903, cast by Alexis Rudier 1928, bronze, Baltimore Museum of Art, The Jacob Epstein Collection, 1930.25.1.

Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917) is one of the most celebrated sculptors of the modern age, represented in museums and private collections across the globe. However, this was not always the case. From his first sculpture to enter an American museum in 1893 and culminating with his popular revival in the 1980s, “Rodin in the United States: Confronting the Modern” — on view at the High Museum of Art Oct. 21, 2022-Jan. 15, 2023 — follows Rodin’s rise to eminence in America due in large part to the collectors, critics and curators who helped make it happen. The exhibition will also reveal Rodin’s incredible daring and inventiveness as he continually pushed against and beyond traditional notions of sculpture. 

“Though now holding pride of place in major American museum collections, and renowned for its distinctive aesthetic, it’s perhaps only in the last 40 years that Rodin’s work has become recognized as among the greatest achievements in Modern art,” said Rand Suffolk, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., Director of the High. “This exhibition takes the audience on a journey, as Rodin’s reputation builds, declines and rises again. It’s a fascinating story, illustrated by many of Rodin’s most striking and beautiful works.” 

Auguste Rodin (French, 1840–1917), Katherine Seney Simpson (Mrs. John W. Simpson), 1902–1903, marble, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, gift of Mrs. John W. Simpson, 1942.5.16.

The 45 sculptures and 25 works on paper in the exhibition encompass many of Rodin’s best-known compositions, including “The Thinker,” “Monument to Balzac” and “The Kiss,” as well as less-familiar subjects and an exceptional number of his expressive and probing drawings. The works show Rodin working across an array of media — from terracotta and plaster to bronze and marble — and illuminate his creative process, from studies and maquettes to completed works. 

“All of us have stood awestruck in front of Rodin’s more-than-life-size figures, like the 9-foot ‘Monument to Balzac’ or the massive, 2,000-pound ‘Thinker’,” said Claudia Einecke, the High’s Frances B. Bunzl Family curator of European art. “But it is a testament to Rodin’s unsurpassed power of evocation that even diminutive figures, such as the 5-inch ‘Female Torso’ or a 6-inch portrait head of the actress Hanako, can impress us with the same physical energy and monumental presence. Visitors will be delighted to see the breadth of Rodin’s work in this exhibition and to learn how he came to be among the 20th century’s most revered artists.” 

Rodin’s path to acceptance in the United States was a complicated, winding one, and the stories of the collectors and institutions that embraced his work reveal a desire to look beyond the conventional to confront, and embrace, the modern. 

Rodin first gained significant attention in the United States in 1893, when the Metropolitan Museum of Art made the first acquisition of his artwork by an American institution. That same year, he made his controversial debut at Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition with three marble sculptures, which were quickly judged too provocative and moved to a private space that was only accessible by request. As the exposition progressed, however, the censorship propelled public interest in his work. 

This notoriety sparked an early-20th-century collecting frenzy, promoted by noted philanthropist Katherine Seney Simpson, avant-garde performer Loïe Fuller, and collector Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, among others. The exhibition details the intriguing confluence of these Rodin enthusiasts and the roles they played in generating interest in his art. 

In the 1920s and 1930s, many American museums made important acquisitions of Rodin’s work, further fueling avid interest in the artist. However, these institutions tended to display his more finished, narrative subjects. The majority of his seemingly unfinished, fragmented or more “erotic” works — appreciated today for their daring and modernity — were consigned to storage, where they languished for years. By the Second World War, enthusiasm for his work had waned and critical sentiment regarding his art shifted, leading museums to relegate his sculptures to less prominent places or remove them from the public eye. 

In 1954, Museum of Modern Art Director Alfred H. Barr Jr. requested a bronze cast of Rodin’s “Monument to Balzac” for the museum’s collection, which spurred scholars and critics to reappraise Rodin’s works. Nearly 30 years later, the National Portrait Gallery’s 1981 exhibition “Rodin Rediscovered” ushered in a resurgence of appreciation for Rodin’s art in the United States, which continues today. 

“Confronting the Modern” traces these ebbs and flows of Rodin’s American popularity and includes loans of key works from more than 30 museums and private collections across the country. These works include: 

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Bust of St. John the Baptist” (bronze, original model 1880, cast 1883), the first Rodin work to enter an American museum collection. 
  • The marble bust “Katherine Seney Simpson” (1903), which immortalized Rodin’s early advocate, who was instrumental in developing the Met’s Rodin collection and donated her private collection of his art to the National Gallery of Art upon her death. 
  • Bronze sculptures “The Thinker” (cast 1928) and “The Kiss” (cast 1888) from the Baltimore Museum of Art’s collection. “Rodin in the United States” marks the first time that the Baltimore Museum of Art has loaned “The Thinker” to an exhibition. 
  • The Museum of Modern Art’s “Monument to Balzac” (cast 1954), which instigated renewed interest in Rodin’s work. 
  • Drawings related to some of Rodin’s most famous compositions, such as “The Thinker” and “Ugolino and His Sons.” 
  • A group of diminutive plaster studies exploring the expressive power of the human hand, which were gifts from the artist to the Met’s Rodin Gallery, established in 1912. 

“Rodin in the United States: Confronting the Modern” will be accompanied by a fully illustrated, 260-page catalogue edited by exhibition curator Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, with contributions by Christina Buley-Uribe, Patrick R. Crowley, C. D. Dickerson III, Laure de Margerie, Véronique Mattiussi, Elyse Nelson, Jennifer A. Thompson and Nora M. Rosengarten. The book is published by the Clark Art Institute and distributed by Yale University Press, New Haven. 

The exhibition will be presented in the Cousins Family Special Exhibition Galleries on the Second Level of the High’s Wieland Pavilion. 

Exhibition Organization and Support
“Rodin in the United States: Confronting the Modern” is organized by the Clark Art Institute, Williamston, Massachusetts, and guest curated by independent scholar Antoinette Le Normand-Romain. 

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.  Funding for this exhibition is provided by Troutman Pepper.

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Titanic: An Immersive Voyage To Set Sail On 30-market World Tour

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Images courtesy of Titanic: An Immersive Voyage

Exhibition Hub in partnership with Fever and a collaborative of Titanic collectors announced today the launch of its latest exhibition Titanic: An Immersive Voyage.

The companies also announced that Milan, Italy and Atlanta, Georgia have been selected as the initial host cities for the next generation experience. Titanic: An Immersive Voyage is scheduled to open in Atlanta on Friday, July 19.

Titanic: An Immersive Voyage will feature more than 300 artifacts from Titanic and its sister vessels the Olympic and the Britannic, as well as objects from Carpathia and Californian, two additional ships key to Titanic’s story.

Items to be showcased in the experience were curated from multiple collections including treasures from Kevin Saucier, the owner of one of the largest private collections of Titanic memorabilia in the world. Priceless artifacts from the collection of Spencer Knarr will also be featured in the all-new Titanic experience. Mr. Knarr started his collection at the age of 12.

“Titanic is the most enchanting ship of all time and is revered by many as an iconic gem,” said John Zaller, Executive Producer at Exhibition Hub. “We’re delighted to tell this immortal story in our signature humanistic and immersive style, and to share it with guests around the world. We could not be more appreciative of the collectors who have joined us on this journey.” 

Titanic: An Immersive Voyage represents an entirely new approach to the story of the world’s most famous ocean liner. The experience features more than 300 artifacts, and dramatic room re-creations from the ship, along with advanced theatrical techniques and breathtaking technological overlays that place guests inside the story of the celebrated Titanic.

“Titanic: An Immersive Voyage engages the Titanic story like never before,” said Zaller. “Our expertise in exhibition design and immersive storytelling creates an unforgettable emotional connection to Titanic.”

“The mold for a Titanic exhibition was in need of a refresh,” said Mr. Knarr. “And, Exhibition Hub, with its success in creating immersive experiences, was just the company to do it. I’m really excited to have been invited to participate.”

Knarr’s fellow collector echoed those sentiments.

“One meeting with John Zaller and Exhibition Hub was a lock,” said. Mr. Saucier. “It’s a great way to break away from the traditional exhibit case and create a worldwide touring show. There are collectors who keep their treasures hidden and there are those of us that want to share with the world.”

Titanic: An Immersive Voyage uses cutting-edge storytelling technology to create a powerful emotional connection between visitors and those 2,200 souls onboard. The experience also features hands-on activities, in-depth learning opportunities, projection mapping, a detailed audio tour, educational materials, a special selfie zone, a unique green-screen photo opportunity and an expansive retail store with items from Titanic and her sister ships for sale.

More Information – The waitlist for tickets is now open and tickets will officially go on sale on June 17.  Visit expo-titanic.com/atlanta to join the list.

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Sneak Peek at The Westin at The Gas South District

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The 348-room, 11-story hotel opens March 21

The Westin Atlanta Gwinnett is eagerly counting down to its grand opening this week on March 21st, marking a significant milestone as the hotel prepares to redefine hospitality in Gwinnett County. Located in the dynamic Gas South District, this cutting-edge 11-story hotel features 348 rooms and over 27,000 square feet of flexible event space across 14 rooms. As part of Concord Hospitality’s portfolio, the establishment is poised to become a game-changer in the area, offering unparalleled service and amenities.

General Manager Mark Castriota, with Russell Stewart, Sales and Marketing

Under the leadership of General Manager Mark Castriota, with Russell Stewart steering the Sales and Marketing efforts, the hotel is set for a successful launch. General Manager Mark Castriota expressed excitement about the imminent opening. He lauded the dedication and hard work that has paved the way for this moment. Castriota emphasized the hotel’s commitment to providing unmatched hospitality experiences in Gwinnett County. The Westin aspires to fill the hotel with skilled individuals who deliver The Westin’s signature quality service to all guests.

The Westin Atlanta Gwinnett is more than just a place to stay; it’s a retreat for wellness and relaxation. The property boasts signature wellness initiatives, sleep-enhancing features, and breathtaking floor-to-ceiling windows. Modern conveniences are standard in every room and suite, including high-speed Wi-Fi, 55-inch smart TVs, ergonomic workstations, and mini-fridges.

One of the hotel’s highlights is its rooftop bar, Overstory, which offers stunning 360-degree views of North Georgia. Here, guests can enjoy locally brewed beer, a nod to the hotel’s commitment to supporting local businesses. Additionally, the hotel will feature SweetSong Kitchen & Bar, a full-service restaurant that emphasizes locally sourced and sustainable ingredients.

A unique architectural feature of The Westin Atlanta Gwinnett is its 25 preset lighting configurations. It can be adjusted to reflect various events and holidays, adding a vibrant and dynamic touch to the hotel’s facade. This, along with amenities like a full-service Starbucks, an indoor pool, and the Westin WORKOUT Fitness Studios, ensures guests have everything they need for a rejuvenating stay.

The Westin Atlanta Gwinnett is set to become a cornerstone of luxury and wellness in Gwinnett County, inviting visitors to experience a new level of hospitality.

A more in-depth feature will appear in Southwest Gwinnett magazine May/June issue.

Photos by Bruce Johnson

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Broadway Director Joins Production of Beauty and the Beast in Sandy Springs

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City Springs Theatre Company brings the legendary Broadway musical, Beauty and the Beast to Sandy Springs from March 8 to 24.
Exterior of the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center

City Springs Theatre Company (CSTC) brings the legendary Broadway musical, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to metro Atlanta with performances from March 8 through 24.

“City Springs Theatre Company is exceptionally proud to bring this modern classic to Atlanta audiences this spring,” said Tony Award-winner and Atlanta native Shuler Hensley, who serves as CSTC’s artistic director.

“For three decades now this ‘tale as old as time’ has been delighting audiences of all ages, across the globe. With its colorful characters, dazzling musical numbers (“Be Our Guest”, “Gaston”) and the Oscar-winning title song, Beauty and the Beast promises to be family theatre at its finest,” added Hensley.

Directing and choreographing City Springs Theatre Company’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is renowned Tony Award-recipient Baayork Lee, who has performed in some of Broadway’s biggest musicals.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will be performed in the Byers Theatre at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, located at 1 Galambos Way in Sandy Springs.

“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is the most family-friendly show we’ve ever produced, and it’s the perfect outing for groups of any kind looking for a truly memorable theatrical experience,” noted CSTC Executive Director Natalie DeLancey.

Disney’s take on the classic story tells of Belle, an idealistic young woman trapped in a provincial town, and The Beast, who is himself a prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress.

If The Beast can learn to love (and be loved), the curse will end, and he will be transformed back into his former princely self. But time is running out. If The Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast features a book by Linda Woolverton (author of the original animated film’s screenplay), with music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.

Performance schedule

Friday, March 8 at 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 9 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 10 at 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 14 at 8:00 p.m.

Friday, March 15 at 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 16 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 17 at 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 21 at 8:00 p.m.

Friday, March 22 at 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 23 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 24 at 2:00 p.m.

Cast

Belle – Diane Phelan (Broadway: School of Rock, The King And I, Into The Woods)

The Beast – Christian Magby (TV: “The Flash”)

Mrs. Potts – Candice Song Donehoo (Broadway: The King And I, National Tour: Jekyll and Hyde)

Gaston – Stanley Allyn Owen (National Tour: CATS)

Lumiere – Nick Walker Jones

Cogsworth – Luke Grooms

LeFou – DJ Plunkett (National Tour: Wicked)

Maurice – Russ Williamson

Babette – Maggie McCown

Madame de la Grande Bouche – Grace Choi

Chip – Cece Fields and Michael Wood

Silly Girls – Grace Arnold, Hannah Morrison, Emma X. O’Loughlin

The Ensemble: Ian Blanco, Emmanuel Cologne, Sammy Fossum, David Grindrod, Imani Joseph, Ben Ohnemus, Meaghan Paetkau, Javar La’Trail Parker, Ryley Perry, Zac Pritts, Caitlyn Savage, Wendell Scott, Amanda Fallon Smith

Creative and production teams

Director/Choreographer – Baayork Lee

Associate Choreographer – David Grindrod

Music Director – Griffin Strout

Conductor – Greg Matteson

Lighting Designer – Mike Wood

Sound Designer – Anthony Narcisso

Scenic Designer – Kelly Tighe

Costume Designer – Ryan Moller

Production Stage Manager – Shay Holihan

The production will also feature students from City Springs Theatre Company’s acclaimed pre- professional program, who will appear as additional ensemble members in the show.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is included in current subscriber season packages. Individual tickets (from $38 to $98) are on sale now, with discounts for seniors, students, groups and active and retired military personnel.

Visit www.CitySpringsTheatre.com or call 404-477-4365 for more information. Discounts for groups of 10 or more are available by calling the box office at 404-477-4365. Gift cards are also available by calling the box office. CSTC’s Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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