Paul Howard Manship1885 - 1966
Born: December 24, 1885, St. Paul, Minnesota
Died: February 1, 1966
At the age of seven, Paul Manship began his studies at the Institute of Art in St. Paul. Pursuing a career in the arts, he traveled to the East in 1905. Immediately following his arrival in New York City, Manship enrolled at the Art Students League but soon after transferred to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Manship assisted for the sculptor Solon Borglum. In 1909, at the age of 24, he received the Prix de Rome, which allowed him to study at the American Academy in Rome as well as provided him with a studio and travel allowance. In Rome, Manship's sculpting style quickly evolved as he studied Roman, Greek, and Egyptian sculpture. He was strongly influenced by the high stylization and patterning of figures. In 1912, he returned to New York and quickly became very successful.
The National Museum of Wildlife Art acquired Indian and Pronghorned Antelope in 1998. First exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy in 1914, this sculpture exemplifies Manship's classical influences in a modern time. Indian is modeled from a sculpture of Hercules, located on the east pediment of the Temple of Aphaia at Aegina. He wears a lion skin and injures but does not kill the antelope. The viewer is meant to catch the reference, comparing the noble North American Indian to the heroic Hercules. In accordance with the stylization of Greek and Egyptian sculptures, the figures are outlined in sharp contours, casting the appearance of silhouettes. Manship was referencing classical sculpture, while also incorporating modern themes and techniques. The subject is not a classical myth but the romantic North American Indian, and his style is more abstracted and less naturalistic. In addition, the work was cast in two separate pieces, causing a varied relationship as the pieces move. The work demonstrates his precise modeling and perfect patina and finishing touches.
Manship accepted a great number of commissions, including his first in 1914 for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company building in New York, and later the Prometheus Fountain, the J.P. Morgan Memorial, as well as several works for the New York Zoological Park. He also received many awards, including the Helen Foster Barnett Prize from the National Academy of Design, the American Independent Artists Medal, the J. Sanford Saltus Medal of the American Numismatic Society, the Gold Medal of Philadelphia Art Week, the Gold Medal from the Sesquicentennial Exposition in Philadelphia, and the National Arts Club Prize. Manship was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.