Thursday, April 3, 2014

Manship: Flight of Night


On recent visits to the Wadsworth Athenaeum (Hartford, CT) and the New Britain (CT) Museum of American Art, I enjoyed looking at two different castings of Flight of Night (1916) by American sculptor Paul Howard Manship (1885-1966): 



I took only one photo at the Wadsworth Athenaeum, mostly because the sculpture was sited against a flat surface, and viewing from any other angle would have been awkward:

Paul Howard Manship (American, 1885-1966)
Flight of Night (1916) ― Bronze edition of 20
Image © 2014 Quodlibet

At the NBMAA, the sculpture was positioned in such a way that one could see it from all sides, and from an opening between two partitions. I took several photos to capture the elegant grace of this lovely piece:

Paul Howard Manship (American, 1885-1966)
Flight of Night (1916) ― Bronze edition of 20
Image © 2014 Quodlibet


Paul Howard Manship (American, 1885-1966)
Flight of Night (1916) ― Bronze edition of 20
Image © 2014 Quodlibet


Paul Howard Manship (American, 1885-1966)
Flight of Night (1916) ― Bronze edition of 20
Image © 2014 Quodlibet


Paul Howard Manship (American, 1885-1966)
Flight of Night (1916) ― Bronze edition of 20
Image © 2014 Quodlibet


Paul Howard Manship (American, 1885-1966)
Flight of Night (1916) ― Bronze edition of 20
Image © 2014 Quodlibet


Paul Howard Manship (American, 1885-1966)
Flight of Night (1916) ― Bronze edition of 20
Image © 2014 Quodlibet


Paul Howard Manship (American, 1885-1966)
Flight of Night (1916) ― Bronze edition of 20
Image © 2014 Quodlibet


Paul Howard Manship (American, 1885-1966)
Flight of Night (1916) ― Bronze edition of 20
Image © 2014 Quodlibet

Because of the differences in the display at each museum, I experienced the sculpture more fully at the NBMAA than at the Wadsworth Athenaeum.

From the information card at the NBMAA: 
Because Manship was color blind, he turned to sculpture … Manship studied Archaic and classical Greek sculpture, from which he partly derived his elegant compositions. The sweeping, elongated arc forms in Flight of Night are uniquely his invention, however. Stylistically, his decorative compositions conformed beautifully to the prevailing Art Deco taste of the 1920s and 1930s. Since he ignored the long established cannons [sic!!]* of academic sculpture, especially in his daringly sensuous female forms, Manship was regarded as a modernist.

* Oh, will the NBMAA ever clean up the many errors in their information labels? It’s a longstanding problem, as I noted some time ago here and here. There is no excuse for this shabby, sloppy work in an otherwise fine museum.




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