Event—Adult Education

Inspired by Nature: Michelangelo and Rodin


Dive into the work and lives of Michelangelo and Rodin, two pivotal artists whose work changed sculpture for successive generations.

Twenty-seven poems from Les Fleurs du mal, illustrated by Rodin. 1918. Call number: Wing ZP 939 .R692

Class Description

In early 1876, Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), frustrated with his work and needing inspiration, made a pilgrimage to Italy to study ancient sculpture and the Renaissance masters. Visiting Florence, he was particularly struck by works of Michelangelo (1475-1564).

In a letter home, Rodin explained “I have been studying Michelangelo and I believe that the great magician is letting me in on some of his secrets.” The “secret” was that the Italian depicted natural human attitudes rather than artificial poses—this revelation freed Rodin from the constraints of French tradition.

This class will explore Rodin and Michelangelo, two pivotal artists whose work changed sculpture for successive generations. We will discuss their work, focusing on projects that have similar thinking or methods, as well as the personas they created and cultivated, and their relationships with patrons. The class will combine lectures and discussion.

Rosie May holds a PhD in Art History from Temple University. She has lectured and taught widely and spent several years working as a guide leading people through museums in Rome, Philadelphia, New York City, and Chicago. She is currently the Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Oklahoma City Museum.

Materials List

No required materials or first reading.

Cost and Registration

Two sessions, $137 ($124 for Newberry members, seniors, and students). Learn about becoming a member.

To register multiple people for this class, please go through the course calendar in Learning Stream, our registration platform. When you select the course and register, you’ll be prompted to add another registrant.


Support the Newberry

Your generosity is vital in keeping the library’s programs, exhibitions, and reading rooms free and accessible to everyone.

Make a Gift


Call us at (312) 255-3700 or send us an email.

Email Us

More Classes at the Newberry