Monday, September 15, 2008

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts' -BAIT and SWITCH-

Note: Footnotes are enclosed with { }.

On page 137 of the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -bait and switch- is defined as: "A sales practice whereby a merchant advertises a low-priced product to lure customers into the store only to induce them to buy a higher-priced product. Most states prohibit the bait and switch when the original product is not actually available as advertised."

In this specific case, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts is asking the public to pay the $8.50 price of admission to view a
"Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession, Sculptures from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation" exhibition by advertising it as having -original Rodin sculptures- when in fact they are inducing them to pay to view non-disclosed reproductions and second-generation removed posthumous fakes with counterfeit signatures applied.

Hence, the -Bait and Switch-.

In an August 15, 2008 Press Release for the upcoming Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession, Sculptures from the Iris and B. Gerald
Cantor Foundation exhibition, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts states: "The Frist Center for the Visual Arts will open
Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession, Sculpture from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation Friday, Sept. 12, 2008. Featuring more than 60 bronze sculptures, from small studies to monumental works by Auguste Rodin (1840–1917), the exhibition illustrates the artist’s innovative contributions to modern sculpture. Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession spans the length of Rodin’s career and includes casts of renowned works such as The Thinker (1880) and The Kiss (ca. 1881–82)."{1}

Yet, 54 of the 63 so-called "sculptures," in this exhibition, were posthumously reproduced between 1919 and 1995, some 2 to 78 years after Auguste Rodin's death in 1917 and yet are listed in the catalogue as "Signed A Rodin." {2}

The dead don't sculpt, much less sign anything.

Now on September 12, 2008, after the public has paid the $8.50 price of adult admission for this exhibition, the Frist Center for the Visual Art's has posted on the wall the following text: "All the works in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collection and Cantor Foundation Collection are original Rodins. Some of these were made during Rodin's lifetime; others were made after he died and in accordance with the explicit wishes and instructions he left to the government of France. The exhibition labels will help you understand the origins of these pieces. By French law (1956) each piece may be cast twelve times; each cast is an original. Pieces made after 1968 are subject to a specific numbering system. The first eight of the twelve casts are available to the public for purchase and are numbered 1/8-8/8, respectively. The last four, numbered I/IV-IV/IV, respectively, are reserved for cultural institutions. When you see a label that reads "Modeled 1869, Georges Rudier Foundry, Musee Rodin cast 2/8, 1973," it means Rodin created the clay model in 1869, and this bronze was cast, according to Rodin's wishes and authorization, in 1973 at the Georges Rudier Foundry, and it is the second of eight casts made for the public to purchase. As you walk through the galleries, however, keep in mind that this edition numbering system has not always been rigorously followed, and you will notice some variations among on the labels. When a label has a cast number only, it means the size of the edition is unknown."{3}


  1. If "{original Rodins} were made after {Auguste Rodin} died," when will the dead Auguste Rodin stop coming out with new work?
  2. If Auguste Rodin gave the State of France in his 1916 Will the "right of reproduction to objects given by him"{4} and he did, are Auguste Rodin's -explicit wishes- being followed when they are not called reproductions?
  3. Even if we suspend disbelief and accept without question that -French law- says the dead can sculpt and it doesn't{5}, since when does French law apply in the United States of America?
  4. If "Pieces made after 1968 are subject to a specific numbering system" and yet "edition numbering system has not always been rigorously followed," what can we -count- on that is accurate in this exhibition?
To learn how much, link to: FOOTNOTES:
2) page 180, RODIN, A Magnificent Obsession, ISBN 1 85894 143 1 hardback
3) Frist Center for the Visual Arts, copy forwarded from an unnamed: News Source.
4) On page 285 in the former Musee Rodin curator Monique Laurent’s “Observations on Rodin and His Founders” essay, published in the National Gallery of Art’s published 1981 Rodin Rediscovered catalogue.
5) The March 3, 1981 French decree no. 81.255, Article 9, in part, states: “All facsimiles, casts of casts, copies, or other reproductions of an original work of art as set out in Article 71 of Appendix III of the General Code of Taxes, executed after the date of effectiveness of the present decree, must carry in a visible and indelible manner the notation ‘Reproduction’.”
(On page 281, Jean Chatelain’s “Original in Sculpture,” 1981 Rodin Rediscovered ISBN 0-89468-001-3 (pbk))


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