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Paul Manship

 (1885 - 1966)
Paul Howard Manship was active/lived in New York, New Hampshire, Minnesota.  Paul Manship is known for sculptor-art deco figure, medalist.

Paul Manship

    MAN-ship    click to hear

Biography from the Archives of askART

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Paul Manship became a leading influence in contemporary sculpture from the 1920s to the end of World War II.  His work was "distinguished by their simplified and polychromatic forms, clean sinuous lines, slender curves, and lyrical surfaces" (Reynolds 241).  His subjects often hearkened back to ancient or classical themes and his style, emphasizing simple lines, combined Greek and Oriental influences as well as Art Deco that was so popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

Manship attended the Institute of Art in St. Paul from 1892 to 1903.  Then he enrolled briefly in the Art Students League, where he assisted Solon Borglum in stone carving projects before transferring to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

From 1909 to 1912, he was at the American Academy in Rome and began to make garden and architectural sculpture.  Being in Italy, he was much influenced by classical Greek and Roman motifs.  From 1922 to 1926, he lived in Paris.

In America, he became one of the most sought after sculptor of public commissions including the gates to the Bronx Zoo and Prometheus in Rockefeller Center.  This 18-foot-tall, 8-ton sculpture became a fixture in one of the more heavily visited tourist sites, and in 2001, was covered with a protective box so that the statue could be re-gilded, which meant coated in double weight 23 and one quarter karat gold leaf. He also did bas relief work on the A T & T building in New York, a fountain for Fairmount Park in Philadelphia and the J.P. Morgan memorial at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Affiliations included the National Sculpture Society, which he served as President from 1939 to 1942 and 1945 to 1946; the National Academy of Design, and the Cornish Colony in New Hampshire.

Matthew Baigell, Dictionary of American Art
Donald Martin Reynolds, Masters of American Sculpture
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art

Biography from Kramer Gallery, Inc.
A sculptor who married classical themes to modern aesthetics, Paul Manship achieved early fame and, in later life, an honored rank in the art establishment of the nation.

Manship studied at the St. Paul Institute of Arts and Sciences and New York's Art Students League, but apprenticeships with Solon Borglum, Charles Grafly, and Isidore Konti led to his winning the Prix de Rome in 1909. Awarded a year of study and travel in Europe, Manship immersed himself in classical sculpture, creating works in bronze and stone that interpreted mythological figures in a steamlined, Art Deco-like modernist fashion.

Manship was elected to the National Academy of Design, American Academy of Arts and Letters, United States Commission of Fine Arts and other prominent organizations. His public commissions include the Memorial Gateway of the New York Zoological Gardens, works at the World's Fairs of 1939 and 1964, and his best-known commission, the monumental gilded bronze figure of "Prometheus" in New York's Rockefeller Center.

Manship's estate collection of sculptures and drawings is divided between the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. A collection of Paul Manship papers is at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Sources include:
Edwin Murtha: PAUL MANSHIP (1959)
Gloria Kittelson et al.: PAUL MANSHIP: CHANGING TASTE IN AMERICA (1985)
Harry Rand: PAUL MANSHIP (1989)

Biography from Cornish Colony Museum
PAUL MANSHIP (1885-1966)

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Studied at the Art Students League, New York City and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

He also studied in Italy from 1909- 1911, where he developed an affinity for archaic and pre-classical works, which led to his usage of the unified linear style of sculpture for which he became best known.  Paul Manship also worked in England in the studio of John Singer Sargent in 1921.

Manship's most famous work is generally considered to be the outdoor sculpture of "Prometheus" for the new Rockefeller Center Plaza in New York, in 1934.

In 1939, another landmark sculpture was his "Sundial" accompanied by the "Moods of Time" for the outdoor fountain at the New York World's Fair.

He received many honors during his lifetime, the two most important being membership in the French Legion of Honor, and his election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Manship's sculpture style was distinctively his own, beginning in eclecticism, and maturing through the stylization of Art Deco was distilled at the end into a personal expression of the classical tradition.

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About  Paul Manship

Born:  1885 - St. Paul, Minnesota
Died:   1966 - New York City
Known for:  sculptor-art deco figure, medalist