You’ve often heard me wax poetic about music. But in recent years, I’ve been experiencing a renaissance of sorts exploring other forms of art. Most specifically, I’ve fallen back in love with Auguste Rodin. Truth is, the more I discover about myself, the more I realize I’ve been thinking about Le Penseur since I was in grade school. Back then you could find petit Jake enjoying La Vie Untangled. I’d be running around Paris – head in my hand – imitating that infamous pose of eternal thought. It’s hard to believe I was that much of a dork, right? But I have the photos to prove it.

Petit Jake Le Penseur in Paris

I was too young to understand it then. But here I am now (some very large number of years later), thinking about my connection to him more than ever. Looking back, I can find Auguste Rodin in my path all along. He was at the Rodin Museum when I lived in Philadelphia after college. And as fate would have it, after moving to North Carolina I found out their Museum of Art in Raleigh provides a home to a permanent collection of casts. But it’s the museum’s Rodin Garden and lily pond that take me away. In fact, I leap at any chance to get away and spend the day there with my camera.

Rodin Garden Lily Pond - Raleigh NC - North Carolina Museum of Art

Photography is another art form I’m exploring – I’d call it my current obsession. On a recent trip to the Rodin Garden in Raleigh, I had just finished reading the book Rodin on Art and Artists. To me, it feels like the meaning of life according to Rodin. Many of the stories he told were about some of the very folks that surrounded me in their beautiful bronze skin. His words are as powerful as his art and I hope you enjoy some highlights from the book with photos from my day of self-reflection. As the master said…

“Art is contemplation. It is the expression of thought seeking to understand the world and to make it understood.”

Jean de Fiennes and Lily Pond - Auguste Rodin - North Carolina Museum of Art

“Movement is the transition from one attitude to another.”

The Three Shades - Auguste Rodin - Rodin Garden Raleigh NC

Meditation with Arms - Auguste Rodin - North Carolina Museum of Art

“There is but one sole beauty, that of the truth which is revealed.”

Chest of Jean d'Aire - Auguste Rodin - Raleigh NC - North Carolina Museum of Art

“What we adore in the human body more even than its beautiful form is the inner flame which seems to shine from within and illuminate it.”

Jean d'Aire Nude with Meditation - Auguste Rodin - North Carolina Museum of Art Rodin Garden

“Artists and thinkers are like lyres, infinitely delicate and sonorous, whose vibrations, awakened by the circumstances of each epoch, are prolonged to the ears of all other mortals.”

Jacob Clayton with Jean d'Aire - Rodin Garden Raleigh NC

“To any artist, worthy of the name, all in nature is beautiful, because his eyes, fearlessly accepting all exterior truth, read there, as in an open book, all the inner truth.”