Paul Manship


February 11 – July 3, 2021

Paul Manship’s sculpture visually defines a melding of ancient and modern sensibilities. One of America’s most celebrated sculptors of the early twentieth century, he is known for major public commissions such as Prometheus at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan and the Rainey Memorial Gates at the Bronx Zoo. Manship spent his student years at the American Academy in Rome. His time there was the foundational chapter in a long career, when his ideas and working methods were deeply influenced by the ancient works he studied. While abroad, Manship developed a repertoire of designs that he incorporated into his streamlined Art Deco style. Upon his return to New York City, his dramatic, energetic bronze sculptures reinterpreted the past for the modern age, attracting critical acclaim and establishing a new direction for American sculpture. Together with his signature bronzes, associated sketches and ancient artifacts illuminate how  Manship became a master of his craft.


February 26 | Curator Talk
March 18 | Conservation Behind-the-Scenes: Bronze
March 25 | Excavating the Archaic, with Susan Rather
April 12 – June 10 | Sunday Serenades: Sculpture and the Symphony
May 5 | Plaster Casts and New Ways of Seeing the Past
May 8 | Virtual Second Saturdays for Families: Maker’s Mode
May 27 | New York in the 1920s: Art, Architecture, and the City
June 16 | Birth of a Titan: Paul Manship’s Prometheus
June 18 | Virtual Gallery Talk
June 22 | Bronze, Iron, and Silk in the 1920s


Tours of the exhibition take place on Sundays at 11am & Wednesdays at 1pm. Space is limited and reservations are required via


Detail of Paul Manship, Flight of Night, 1916

Audio Tour: Myths Come Alive
Listen to dramatic renditions of stories behind Manship’s myth-inspired artworks.

Unknown Photographer. Postcard of Manship in the studio (front), Rome, 1909.

Unlock the Archives
Explore Manship’s personal archive to learn more about his work.

Curator Talk
Explore how Manship became a master craftsman on this virtual tour of the exhibition led by curator Erin Monroe.

Manship Myths
A special Spanish presentation

Virtual Tour
Explore Paul Manship: Ancient Made Modern from anywhere!

Major support provided by the David T. Langrock Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Terra Foundation for American Art logo

Sustaining support for the Wadsworth Atheneum provided by Newman’s Own Foundation and the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign with support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts.  

Research support for this exhibition including access to archival materials provided by the Manship Artists Residency + Studios.

The Manship Archival photographs, documentation, and Paul Manship artworks are copyrighted materials and may not be used without the permission of the Estate of Paul Manship.

Images from left: Paul Manship, Flight of Night, 1916. Bronze on a veined black marble base. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Gift of Philip L. Goodwin. © Estate of Paul Manship; Hermonax Painter (Greek, 5th century BCE), Oil flask (Lekythos), made Attica, Greece c. 470-460 BCE. Terracotta. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, purchased through the gift of Henry and Walter Keney; Paul Manship, Lapith Woman from the West Pediment of the Temple of Zeus, Olympia, 1924. Graphite on paper. Minnesota Museum of American Art, Bequest of Paul H. Manship. © Estate of Paul Manship; Unknown Photographer. Postcard of Manship in the studio (front detail), Rome, 1909. Courtesy of the Manship Artists Residency + Studios. © Estate of Paul Manship.