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The Story of the “Lost” Rodin Sculpture Discovered in New Jersey Borough Hall

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, on Wednesday October 20th at 7pm the Ridgewood Public library virtually hosts Mallory Mortillaro tell the story of discovering that a dusty marble bust of Napoleon in Madison, NJ was actually a long-missing 1908 Rodin. Register here.

Sitting there for nearly 85 years , the  multi-million-dollar Rodin bust of Napoleon was discovered hiding in plain sight right  inside a New Jersey borough hall. Thanks to the persistence of a hawk-eyed art history student, the 1908 sculpture by the French artist Auguste Rodin, which art experts lost track of in the 1930s, was found in a corner of Morris County borough hall in Madison.

Mallory Mortillaro thought she was taking on a simple part-time cataloging project in Madison, NJ. She soon found herself hunting for information about a mysterious marble bust of Napoleon that had been sitting in Madison’s town hall building for almost 80 years, eventually obtaining the artwork’s authentication by the world’s leading Rodin expert. .

Join the Ridgewood Library online to hear Mallory recount her story plus how Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge donated the sculpture and the entire town hall in the name of her one and only son. Mallory includes present-day and historic photographs to illustrate her story.

Questions? Please contact Larissa at or
201-670-5600, ext. 137.

One thought on “The Story of the “Lost” Rodin Sculpture Discovered in New Jersey Borough Hall

  1. I remember reading her story back in 2017 and thinking “cool part time job”.

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