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The Kiss

The Kiss is a famous sculpture by Auguste Rodin. It was commissioned in 1900 by American art lover Edward Perry Warren and his companion John Marshall, who were residents of Lewes in Sussex.

In 1914 the sculpture was loaned to Lewes town council and put on public display in the town hall. A number of puritanical local residents, led by headmistress Miss Fowler-Tutt, objected to the erotic nature of the sculpture. They were particularly concerned that it might encourage the ardour of the large number of soldiers who were billeted in the town at that time and successfully campaigned to have the sculpture draped and screened from public view. It was returned to Warren's residence at Lewes House in 1917 where it remained stored in a stable for 12 years until Warren's death in 1929. The beneficiary of Warren's will, H. Asa Thomas, put the sculpture up for sale with Gorringes, the local auctioneers, but it failed to meet its reserve price and was withdrawn from sale. A few years later it was loaned to the Tate Gallery in London. In 1955 the Tate bought the sculpture for the nation at a cost of 7,500.

In 1999 between 5 June and 30 October, the Kiss returned to Lewes as part of a exhibition of Rodin's works.


The Kiss is also the title of several other works of art, including:


The Kiss (also known as The May Irwin Kiss, The Rice-Irwin Kiss and The Widow Jones) is an 1896 actuality which was one of the first movies ever shown commercially to the public. It is barely twenty seconds long. The scene is a reenactment of the final scene of the stage musical The Widow Jones.

It was directed by William Heise for Thomas Edison. In 1999 the short was deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.