Thomas F. Ryan

Bust
1909 (made)
Thomas F. Ryan thumbnail 1
Thomas F. Ryan thumbnail 2
+9
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Sculpture, Room 21, The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Thomas Ryan (1851-1928) was a member of the stock exchange in his early twenties and subsequently a very successful businessman with coal mines, railroad companies, tobacco interests, and insurance. He became a multimillionaire. He was almost certainly introduced to Rodin by the Duchesse de Choiseul (Museum nos. A.45 and A.46-1914) in 1908 and played a major role in promoting his work in the USA. In 1910 he financed the purchase of ten of Rodin's works for the Metropolitan Museum, New York, which became the core of their Rodin collection, displayed in the new Rodin Gallery there in 1912 alongside small plasters and a bronze cast of the bust of Ryan which Rodin had presented to the Museum the previous year.

Ryan sat for his portrait at the Hôtel Biron (now the Musée Rodin) in 1909, shortly after Rodin had rented studio space there. As neither spoke the other's language, the sittings were conducted in silence. Rodin's portrait captures the strength of Ryan's character as well as his physical power - he was broad-shouldered and over six feet tall. Versions in bronze, silver and marble were made for Ryan's own collection, all of them delivered by 1910. This bust, closely related to the one in New York, was given to the V&A by Rodin in 1914.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Bronze
Brief Description
Bust in bronze, 'Thomas Fortune Ryan' by Auguste Rodin, French, 1909
Physical Description
Bronze bust of Thomas F. Ryan, with two inscriptions.
Dimensions
  • Height: 450mm
  • Width: 800mm
  • Weight: 42kg
  • Depth: 600mm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • A. Rodin (inscription signed twice, on the front right and also in relief on the under surface)
  • ALEXIS. RUDIER. FONDEUR. PARIS (Marked on back of the right shoulder)
Gallery Label
Thomas Fortune Ryan (1851-1928) was an American millionaire and collector, whom Rodin met in 1909. He thought Rodin a genius and played a significant role in establishing his reputation in America, paying for ten works by Rodin for the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and setting up a fund for further purchases. He ordered versions of this portrait in bronze, silver and marble.(March 2007)
Credit line
Given to the Victoria and Albert Museum by Rodin in 1914
Subject depicted
Summary
Thomas Ryan (1851-1928) was a member of the stock exchange in his early twenties and subsequently a very successful businessman with coal mines, railroad companies, tobacco interests, and insurance. He became a multimillionaire. He was almost certainly introduced to Rodin by the Duchesse de Choiseul (Museum nos. A.45 and A.46-1914) in 1908 and played a major role in promoting his work in the USA. In 1910 he financed the purchase of ten of Rodin's works for the Metropolitan Museum, New York, which became the core of their Rodin collection, displayed in the new Rodin Gallery there in 1912 alongside small plasters and a bronze cast of the bust of Ryan which Rodin had presented to the Museum the previous year.



Ryan sat for his portrait at the Hôtel Biron (now the Musée Rodin) in 1909, shortly after Rodin had rented studio space there. As neither spoke the other's language, the sittings were conducted in silence. Rodin's portrait captures the strength of Ryan's character as well as his physical power - he was broad-shouldered and over six feet tall. Versions in bronze, silver and marble were made for Ryan's own collection, all of them delivered by 1910. This bust, closely related to the one in New York, was given to the V&A by Rodin in 1914.
Bibliographic References
  • Catalogue of Sculpture by Auguste Rodin.London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1925. pp. 18-19
  • Hawkins, Jennifer, Rodin SculpturesLondon: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1975, p.31, ill.36
  • Butler, Ruth and Glover Lindsay, Suzanne, European Sculpture of the Nineteenth Century, Washington, National Gallery of Art, distributed by Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford, 2000. pp. 399-402.
  • Mitchell, Claudine. The Gift to the British Nation: Rodin at the V&A. In: Mitchell, Claudine. ed.Rodin: The Zola of Sculpture. Henry Moore Institute, 2003. pp. 183-200.
  • Alley, R. Tate Gallery Catalogue: Foreign Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture. London, 1959. pp. 221-222.
  • Antoinette, Le Normand-Romain. The Bronzes of Rodin: Catalogue of Works in the Musée Rodin. London : Lund Humphries ; Paris : Éditions de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2007. pp. 634-635.
Collection
Accession Number
A.48-1914

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record createdNovember 27, 2002
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