If I’d been born in the 19th century, I would have been in big trouble. Just growing up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, was challenging enough. There was an unspoken rule that you had to stay inside the box.
This leads me to Camille Claudel who was born in the 19th century and was definitely outside the box. When I was inspired to write a novel set in the Stanford Rodin Sculpture Garden, I didn’t realize that I would end up researching Camille. She was strong, willful, determined, and massively talented. In her day, society labeled her a whore for being Rodin’s mistress, and the critics passed judgment on her for creating sculptures that were too sensual.
Rodin is world-famous. On the other hand, in the United States, Camille, if recognized at all, is best known as Rodin’s muse–she is a mere footnote as a sculptor. When I went to New York City for one of James’ films, I stopped by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They told me the sole Camille Claudel statue they owned was off in a storeroom. They advised me I would need to give them two weeks notice if I wanted to inspect it and warned that it might be stored behind so many other works that it would be impossible to view.~ read more ~