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Paul Manship

Paul Manship
Paul Manship, Chairman of the New York City Council for Art Week, opens the meeting held Thursday evening, October 16, 1941, at the Architectural League
Born (1885-12-24)December 24, 1885
Died January 28, 1966(1966-01-28) (aged 80)
Nationality American
Known for Sculpture

Paul Howard Manship (December 24, 1885 – January 28, 1966) was an American sculptor.


  • Life 1
  • Museums with Manship works 2
  • Public Sculpture 3
  • Gallery 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Cycle of Life

Paul Howard Manship was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on December 24, 1885, the son of Charles H. and Mary Etta (Friend) Manship. His father, born in Mississippi, was a clerk for the St. Paul gas company, and with his wife, who was born in Pennsylvania, were parents of seven children. Charles and Mary were married in St. Paul, on July 14, 1870, and raised their family in a home they owned at 304 Nelson (later Marshall) Avenue. Paul H. Manship began his art studies at the St. Paul School of Art in Charles Grafly and assisting Isidore Konti.

In 1909, at Konti's urging, he entered the competition for, and won, the Rome Prize and shortly thereafter decamped for Rome where he attended the American Academy from 1909 until 1912. While in Europe he became increasingly interested in Archaic art, his own work began to take on some archaic features, and he became more and more attracted to classical subjects. He also developed an interest in classical sculpture of India, and traces of that influence can be observed in his work (see "Dancer and Gazelles" in Gallery). Manship was one of the first artists to become aware of the vast scope of art history being newly excavated at the time and became intensely interested in Egyptian, Assyrian and pre-classical Greek sculpture.

When he returned to America from his European sojourn, Manship found that his style was attractive to both modernists and conservatives. His simplification of line and detail appealed to those who wished to move beyond the Beaux-Arts classical realism prevalent in the day. Also, his view of and use of a more traditional "beauty" as well as an avoidance of the more radical and abstract trends in art made his works attractive to more conservative art collectors. Manship's work is often considered to be a major precursor to Art Deco.

Manship produced over 700 works and always employed assistants of the highest quality. At least two of them, Gaston Lachaise and Leo Friedlander, went on to create significant places for themselves in the history of American sculpture.

Although not known as a portraitist, he did produce statues and busts of Theodore Roosevelt, Samuel Osgood, John D. Rockefeller, Robert Frost, Gifford Beal and Henry L. Stimson. Manship was very adept at low relief and used these skills to produce a large number of coins and medals. Among his more prominent are the Dionysus medal, the second issue of the long running Society of Medalists; the first term inaugural medal for Franklin D. Roosevelt; and the John F. Kennedy inaugural medal.

Manship was chosen by the American Battle Monuments Commission to create monuments following both the First and Second World Wars. They are located respectively in the American Cemetery at Thiaucourt, France in 1926, and in the military cemetery at Anzio, Italy.

Manship served on the board of the Widener Gold Medal from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the award of Chevalier from the French Legion of Honor.[1] Manship's extensive papers, maquettes and sculptures are housed in the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art. In 2004 the Smithsonian mounted a retrospective of Manship's career which resulted in a reappraisal of the sculptor's work.

There is a gallery dedicated to the display of Manship's work at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Manship was father of the artist John Paul Manship (1927–2000).

Museums with Manship works

Public Sculpture



  1. ^ Thomas E. Luebke, ed., Civic Art: A Centennial History of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, 2013): Appendix B, p. 548.
  • Conner, Janis and Joel Rosenkranz, Rediscoveries in American Sculpture, Studio Works 1893–1939, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 1989
  • Greenthal, Kozol, Rameirez & Fairbanks, American Figurative Sculpture in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 1986
  • Manship, John, Paul Manship, (New York, Abbeville Press, 1989, ISBN 1-55859-002-1)
  • Murtha, Edwin, Paul Manship, (New York, The Macmillan Company, 1957)
  • Nishiura, Elizabeth, editor, American Battle Monuments: A Guide to Military Cemeteries and Monuments Maintained By the American Battle Monuments Commission, Omnigraphics Inc., Detroit, Michigan 1989
  • Opitz, Glenn B., editor, Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers, Apollo Book, Poughkeepsie NY, 1986
  • Proske, Beatrice Gilman, Brookgreen Gardens Sculpture, Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, 1968
  • Rand, Harry, Paul Manship, (London, Lund Humphries Publishers Limited, 1989, ISBN 0-85331-555-8)
  • Rather, Susan, Archaism, Modernism and the art of Paul Manship, University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas, 1993
  • Vitry, Paul, Paul Manship: Sculpteur Americain, Editions De La Gazette Des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1927

External links

  • Links to Paul Manship sculpture images and references
  • Two works by Manship (Insecula)
  • Detailed biography (cached pages from the Internet Archive with no images)
    • Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5
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