Auguste Rodin is, without a doubt, one of the most well-known French artists to grace PEM’s exhibition halls. Rodin’s sculptures come to life in our exhibition Rodin: Transforming Sculpture with this contemporary presentation of a classic artist. Amazingly enough, here in the museum shop we have added wonderful pieces of sculpture to our array of products: reproductions of famous Rodin works created from his original molds.
Acquiring these pieces was an adventure all in itself, having every piece produced, packaged and air shipped from the Musée Rodin in Paris. These pieces have now successfully made it into PEMShop and our retail site, pemshop.com.
My job in the Merchandising Department is a little bit of everything creative. I design in-store signage, manage social media for PEMShop and maintain our retail website. One of my most active roles — and my favorite part – is producing the product photography for the shop. Product photography seemed to easily slide into my job description shortly after starting my position here as an e-commerce assistant.
We initially had close to no equipment and my supplies were limited to three pieces of poster board and the shop’s dusty Nikon D50. Luckily, the supply list has grown to contain everything a mini-studio could ask for. Now, being able to get a sneak peek into what is the newest, best and brightest of what PEMShop has to offer is truly a fascinating part of working here.
Photographing the reproductions that are made from Rodin’s original molds keeps with the character of how the artist worked and his intentions for the majority of his pieces after his death in 1917. He bequeathed his entire body of work to the country of France, including the rights to create reproductions, which allows for these molds to be available for products.
Working with these pieces is as close as anyone can possibly get to handling Rodin’s work without being a part of the museum’s registration department installing the exhibition. Being able to touch these pieces in the shop is an amazing way of tying the exhibition to the viewer in a very tactile way, and my intention with these photographs is to show off the details and beauty of the pieces.