Rushed down to Richmond to see the Rodin show before it closed last weekend. We are so spoiled with the abundance of world class museums in DC, that we forget there are wonderful museums in the neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) always surprises me. It has a wide-ranging collection of art and sculpture, a beautiful modern building that works in the landscape, and curious and knowledgeable curators who assemble interesting exhibits that challenge the mind while satisfying the eye. This year's presentation of works by Rodin is a good example. The exhibit, Rodin: Evolution of a Genius, emphasized his process, and it felt like looking inside the mind of the great sculptor. Though there were various versions of many familiar pieces, including the Thinker, the Kiss, and several Burghers of Calais, these were used at the end to illustrate the final stage of his process. On the way to the big pieces, there were rooms full of the smaller parts of bodies and heads he created with his restless fingers. These were worked and reworked, taken apart, stored, and brought out to incorporate into new pieces. His searching energy was palpable, present in the dents and folds he made on the surfaces as he worked the clay and plaster. Though I've always thought of Rodin as a big man with big ideas, I was struck by the tenderness that is so evident in his depictions of human forms and faces. It was hard to obey the signs everywhere that admonished viewers not to touch—his sculpted hands reached out as if pleading for connection.