top of page

Learn about the Sculptor:  


Auguste Rodin (1840 - 1917)

François Auguste René Rodin was a French sculptor generally considered the founder of modern sculpture. Rodin possessed a unique ability to model a complex, turbulent, and deeply pocketed surface in clay. He is known for such sculptures as The Thinker, Monument to Balzac, The Kiss, The Burghers of Calais, and The Gates of Hell.

Past Event: 03/10/2022

Sculptor Auguste Rodin's The Burghers of Calais

Presented by Paul Glenshaw, Smithsonian Associates

Screen Shot 2022-02-09 at 3.50.44 PM.png

Thursday, March 10th, 2022
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM EST
Virtual Program in English via Zoom

Promotional Partners:
FACC Washington, DC Members Click Here to Register!
Alliance Française de Philadelphie Members Click Here to Register!

In Auguste Rodin’s 1889 sculpture The Burghers of Calais (Les Bourgeois de Calais), six massive figures turn and twist among themselves. They are barefoot and clad in draping robes, chained, and hold massive keys. Their faces depict stages of courage, fear, despair, and resolution. Why did Rodin take on the creation of a monument to these French town leaders, who offered themselves in sacrifice to the English King Edward III almost 550 years before? Who were the burghers and why did they give themselves over to die? How did Rodin produce such a departure from conventional memorials to national heroes?

Paul Glenshaw travels back in time to the unveiling of Rodin’s epic and controversial sculpture, to the studio where he created it, and to 14th-century Calais and the moment of the burghers’ sacrifice.


Meet Our Speaker: 
Paul Glenshaw
Smithsonian Associates

Screen Shot 2022-02-10 at 9.56.04 AM.png

Paul Glenshaw's lifelong passions over several disciplines all fuel the same goal: storytelling. In addition to being an instructor and lecturer for the Smithsonian Associates, Paul is co-director, writer, and producer of the just completed documentary The Lafayette Escadrille. He is a frequent contributor to the Smithsonian’s Air & Space magazine, and recent drawing projects include work with the Folger Shakespeare Library and the National Museum of Health and Medicine. He is also a writer and producer for the theater, radio, museum exhibits, interactive media, and STEM education. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis.

bottom of page