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 Margaret Cassidy Manship  (1921 - )

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About: Margaret Cassidy Manship


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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: sculptor-portrait

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Margaret Cassidy Manship
An example of work by Margaret Cassidy Manship
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Margaret Cassidy Manship is the daughter of Frank Cassidy and painter Mary Anderson. Margaret first became aware of the sculptural process while posing for her mother's students. The comprehensive technical training that Manship pursued as a student was rare for young women artists then, and rarer still for sculpture students of both sexes today. She graduated from Framingham State College. She received a Masters of Science Degree from the University of Massachusetts with a teaching fellowship and a Masters Degree in Art from Dominican College.

She became the first master's graduate at the Dominican College in Florence, Italy, Manship combined her formal academic program with practical training in a master's studio. As an assistant to her teacher, the sculptor Antonio Berti, Manship played a critical role in realizing the St. Louise de Marillac marble group that filled the last available niche in St. Peter's at the Vatican. St. Louise was a French woman who founded The Sisters of Charity. Manship lived with members of this same order at Santa Marta in Vatican City while assisting on this project.

While working at upper level of Michelangelo's niches for several months, Manship corrected many distortions caused by the great distance at which this figure group is installed. The changes were made in the original plaster when it was placed in its niche before the statue was carved from a sixty ton block of stone. Manship earned the nickname "the American Squirrel", for constantly climbing up and down eight ladders to get to the niche over thirty-feet above where the finished twenty-three ton statue would eventually stand.

In 1956, Manship took a leave of absence from teaching in Providence, R.I., went back to Rome to work again with Antonio Berti. Manship assisted in creating the monument of Premier Alicide de Gasperi. The monument fills the square in Piazza Venezia, Trent Italy. The 13 foot Statue of De Gasperi stands in the center of the square with marble statues, bronze reliefs and mosaic panels.

In addition to practical study, Manship advocates in-depth research on sculpture by past masters to understand how great work is achieved. Clarence Kennedy's course on Donatello influenced her more than any other at Smith College. Manship has investigated extensively the construction of such work and the limitations imposed by contemporary technology and the qualities of the materials themselves.

Able to work from life, as well as from photographs and video, Manship has created a gallery of notable portraits, including busts of Presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter and poet Robert Frost. Her portrait of Robert Frost was modeled from life. Margaret enjoyed getting to know her subject, who reminded her that, "We artists have to stick together".

Included among Manship's commissioned works is an eleven-foot bronze statue of John Cardinal Newman at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Newman Center; a terra cotta Mother and Child statue in St. Mary's Church in Uxbridge; a large Pieta at the entrance to the Maryknoll Fathers cemetery in New York; a Japanese Madonna and St. Joseph at the Holt Spirit in Kita-Ku, Kyoto, Japan; and numerous portraits. Some of her notable portraits are Louisiana State Senator Mrs. Peyton Shehee, John Cardinal Carberry, Dr. Clement Maxwell, and portraits of mothers with their children.
Many of the later portraits were personalized on the back with poems or drawings that the sitters inscribed directly into the wax before casting.

Margaret is an active member of the American Medallic Sculpture Association, she been written up in several Who's Who, and she has been noted in the "New York Times", the "Boston Globe", and "Osservatore Romano".

Equally talented in medallic work, Margaret has created a number of medals such as one commissioned by "Boston Globe" editor Tom Winship. Margaret's deep-rooted ethic of citizenship has made her an active participant in several organizations such as the Pen and Brush Club, the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club for which she has served as sculpture chairman, the Burr Artists, the Salmagundi Club, the North Shore Arts Association, the Rockport Art Association, and the Southern Vermont Art Center. She is also an elected member of the International Burkhardt Academy.

Manship regularly exhibits her sculpture and has also participated in special exhibitions at the National Academy of Design and the New Britain Museum of American Art. Among her many honors are the Silver Medal from the Pen and Brush Club, a Bronze Medal and the Anna Hyatt Huntington Medal from the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, and the Richard Recchia Prize from the Rockport Art Association.

Manship has developed new techniques for stained glass work to allow greater versatility: epoxy is used as the adhesive rather than lead, so that curved and molded glass can be incorporated more freely. Her stained glass work is included in the New Britain Museum of American Art.

She married John Paul Manship and lived in Lanesville and New York City until his death in 2000. Currently Manship lives and works in Lanesville, MA were she has the Manship Quarry Gallery in a huge barn near the house.

Source: Manship Quarry Gallery

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