Cret re-created the facade of Rodin's studio near Paris as the backdrop to a re-creation of Rodin's tomb surmounted by his best-known sculpture, The Thinker. Beyond the screen is a perfect small French forecourt with a central reflecting pool behind which stands the museum, Cret's elegant limestone frame for Rodin's masterwork The Gates of Hell. The collection numbering more than one hundred pieces was assembled by Jules E. Mastbaum, the early-twentieth-century movie theater mogul, who began collecting Rodin's work in 1923 and who commissioned the museum as a gift to the people of Philadelphia two years later.
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