From July 23 the museum’s newest exhibition “Auguste Rodin: The Human Experience, Selections from the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Collections,” will go on view, and it’s going to be big…really big, and heavy, both literally and figuratively.

Opening July 23 is the exhibition Auguste Rodin: The Human Experience, Selections from the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Collections. Judith Sobol, executive director of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation and curator of the exhibition was at the museum to help inspect the conditions of each of the 33 bronze sculptures from the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania with which she arrived. As you can imagine, it was an engineering feat to get the artwork—some of the sculptures weigh almost one ton—to Honolulu.

“Sometimes what determines how a piece is sent comes down to something like how wide the door of an airplane is,” said Cynthia Low, exhibitions registrar. “For this exhibition we had to use two airplanes just to get everything over here, partly because the door one one of the planes wasn’t wide enough for some of the crates.”

The exhibition is an example of how relationships and dialogue can result in happy art partnerships.

“Judith and I have been talking for years about doing a Rodin show,” says curator of European and American art Theresa Papanikolas. “This will be the first time our community will be able to see a concentration of works by Rodin in Honolulu. Furthermore I don’t think we’ve ever really done an exhibition focusing on the works of a major 19th-century European master.

Rodin's works await condition inspections by Low and Sobol

Rodin’s works await condition inspections by Low and Sobol

Our installations crew carefully unpacks a sculpture

Our installations crew carefully unpacks a sculpture

Sobol selected the works for the show. “I looked through about 200 pieces that were available,” says says. “I want to give the public a sense of the breadth of Rodin’s output, not only in terms of subject matter, but also in terms of style.”

The installation crew is now making the show a reality, in some cases using a gantry—a type of crane that has been around since the days of ancient Egypt—to lift the extra heavy works. Next week Thursday we’ll all have the opportunity to see works by, as Sobol calls him, “the most famous artist working since Michelangelo.”

The gantry in action

The gantry in action