OKLAHOMA CITY (Thursday, June 15) - A once-in-a-lifetime exhibition opens this Saturday, June 17, at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OKCMOA). True Nature: Rodin and the Age of Impressionism features more than 50 sculptures by French artist Auguste Rodin, known to many as the father of modern sculpture. This exhibition, organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and presented by Inasmuch Foundation and George Records, also showcases the work of Rodin’s Impressionist contemporaries, including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, and Paul Cézanne, among its 100 works of art. 

OKCMOA is the first venue to present the exhibition in its entirety and will be the final stop for the exhibition in the United States before it travels internationally.

True Nature is the type of exhibition that puts Oklahoma City on the map,” said OKCMOA President and CEO Michael J. Anderson, PhD. “We welcome our community to visit OKCMOA this summer and experience Rodin’s sculptures alongside paintings that give the work context and for visitors to connect with art in this special way.” 

The pairing of Impressionist paintings and Rodin’s sculptures is one of many reasons that seeing the exhibition should be a top priority for both local and out-of-state visitors during its 18-week run. As visitors walk through the doors of True Nature, they will be transported to 19th-century France, with scenes of the bustling streets of Paris and the serene French countryside hung on pastel walls inspired by the Impressionist paintings on display. The largest sculpture in the exhibition, Monument to Honoré de Balzac, is set amongst verdant green arches and bathed in natural light, allowing viewers to imagine themselves strolling in the gardens of the Musée Rodin in Paris.  

Rodin's artistic process plays a large role in True Nature. While Rodin’s subject matter—Greek mythology, literary subjects, portraits of writers and other artists—was not radical, his process was new. He pioneered a way of sculpting that did not erase the artist’s presence in their work. Visitors will be able to see the physical evidence, such as pinches of clay and, sometimes, even actual fingerprints that indicate how Rodin manipulated his materials before casting them in bronze. This mirrors the approach of the Impressionist painters, whose short, thick brushstrokes drew attention to their artistic process.  

“Rodin’s ability to convey and evoke emotion is one of the most striking visual components of his work,” said Director of Curatorial Affairs and Audience Engagement Rosie May, PhD. “His sculptures have an enduring quality to them that make them worth seeing in person. A highlight of the exhibition is his Monument to Honoré de Balzac, which stands nearly 10 feet tall and weighs almost 1,900 pounds.” 

True Nature will also be accessible for the visually impaired community with a touchable piece of Rodin’s sculpture, cane walking path, and QR codes taking visitors to webpages with audio files of labels and visual descriptions for select works.  

A variety of programming will complement the exhibition, including a book club, lectures, and a series of tours. These and other events are open to the public and are available at no cost or at discounted rates to Members. For more information on becoming a member, visit okcmoa.com/membership

Tickets for True Nature are available online at okcmoa.com, in person, or by calling the Museum’s main number (405) 236-3100. Timed ticketing will run throughout the length of the exhibition and allows visitors a 15-minute window for arrival time with slots available throughout regular Museum hours. The last ticket sold for the day will be 30 minutes prior to closing. Children 17 and under receive free admission to the Museum every day, including special exhibitions. Additional ticket prices are as follows: 

  • Adult 18 + $21.95  
  • Senior 62 + $19.95  
  • College w/ ID $19.95  
  • Veterans/Retired Military w/ID $14.95
  • Active Military w/ ID FREE (June 17-Sept.4)/$14.95 (Sept. 5-Oct. 22) 
  • Members FREE 

True Nature: Rodin & The Age of Impressionism will run through October 22 and will be on view on the Museum’s third floor.