Barbara is back: Rodin spotlight loan update

Barbara Vujanović (ITP 2016, Croatia) Senior Curator, The Ivan Meštrović Museums – the Meštrović Atelier, Zagreb

As I wrote in my last blog post, last year I was invited to work on a Spotlight Loan project, linked to the big Rodin exhibition about Auguste Rodin and the Parthenon Sculptures, which will open in the British Museum in April 2018. Since my last visit to London and Glasgow in June, I have been developing, under the mentorship of Ian Jenkins and Celeste Farge (authors of the aforementioned exhibition) the exhibition  “Rodin: rethinking the fragment”. As the title suggests we are interested in the topic of fragmentarity, i.e. how, for the first time, Rodin introduced a uniquely positive acceptance of the fragment, converting the limbless, headless torso into a new genre of modern art in its own right. In the past few months, with the help of my mentors, I have selected objects from the collections of the British Museum and the Burrell Collection in Glasgow.

Earlier this year a short synopsis about this exhibition, the ‘tour information document’, was shared with the British Museum’s partner museums, inviting them to express their interest in hosting the exhibition. Three venues were selected to participate in the project, and to host the exhibition (2018 – 2019): Abbot Hall Art Gallery from Kendal, The Holburne Museum from Bath and The New Art Gallery Walsall. A meeting was arranged with these institutions which I returned to the British Museum to attend. At the meeting the project was discussed in detail, including how partner museum’s might incorporate their own collections into the exhibition.

During the meeting I presented my role in the project, as well as the ITP network. I was delighted to hear the ideas of representatives from each institution on how best to engage their resources and how each venue will uniquely accommodate the exhibition and it’s subject. As a result I will have the opportunity to investigate numerous aspects of this intriguing topic.


Researching in the Greece & Rome study room

After the meeting I spent the following days conducting research to develop the introduction panels and labels. During my stay I visited several exhibitions at the BM, but also in other London museums. I was so happy to reunite with Claire Messenger, Rebecca Horton and to meet Jessica Juckes for the first time. I met my ITP colleague Dora Jok, who also visited the BM in the same period. As always, it was very fruitful and inspiring to be able to work with Ian Jenkins and Celeste Farge. I am looking forward to the continuation of this project, which is a great experience for my future museum and scientific work.