Top Menu

Paul Manship: Ancient Made Modern

Paul Manship: Ancient Made Modern
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.


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


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.