Paul Howard Manship (1885-1966) Diana 38 1/4in high on a 1 1/2in marble base
Lot 9
Paul Howard Manship
(1885-1966)
Diana 38 1/4in high on a 1 1/2in marble base
Sold for US$ 727,500 inc. premium

American Art

22 Nov 2016, 14:00 EST

New York

Lot Details
PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF SYLVIA MCLAUGHLIN, BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA
Paul Howard Manship (1885-1966)
Diana
inscribed 'Paul Manship / © 1921' and 'Valsuani Foundeur' (on the base)
bronze with greenish-brown patina and select areas of silver plate
38 1/4in high on a 1 1/2in marble base

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Mr. George E. Cranmer, Denver, Colorado.
    By descent to the present owner from the above.

    Literature
    E. Murtha, Paul Manship, New York, 1957, pp. 14, 18, 161-62, no. 138.
    Paul Manship: Changing Taste in America, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1985, p. 72-75, no. 45, another example illustrated.
    J. Manship, Paul Manship, New York, 1989, pp. 100-101, 111, 113, 133, pl. 92, another example illustrated.
    H. Rand, Paul Manship, Washington, D.C., 1989, pp. 73-83.

    After being rewarded the Rome Prize in 1909, the young artist Paul Manship moved to Rome where he pursued additional study at the American Academy. He returned to New York in 1912 to find a captive audience, favorable to his developing style, and commissions soon followed. His education abroad left the artist with an acute awareness of the classical subjects which formed the canon of art history that proceeded him. He admired these Archaic examples while developing new inspirations from the imagery and characters he discovered in literary works, mythology and exotic, foreign cultures.

    A favorite of the artist was the Greek mythological story of Artemis and Acteon. According to legend, the virtuous goddess Artemis, known by the Romans as Diana, is discovered by the mortal hunter Acteon when bathing in a nearby stream. Diana reacts with great fury and strikes this trespasser with her spell-bound arrow. He quickly transforms into a stag, bearing horns and a fur hide. Unable to recognize their new master, Acteon's hounds pounce on him like prey.

    The story of Diana and Acteon was a narrative that intrigued Manship in the years before he modeled this sculpture of Diana. In as early as 1915 he produced sketches of the mythological character, during his first summer in Cornish, New Hampshire. He drafted the figure of Diana in various pencil studies, evolving his composition which began as a bow-like female form, later complimented by separate sketches of hounds in flight with gritted teeth. Diana was produced with a companion piece, a sculpture of the ill-fated Acteon, of comparable size. "These pieces represent Manship at his most characteristic, with their use of mythological subjects, nude figures in motion, stylized animals and plants, and highly decorative patterns in which the voids are as calculated for effect as the solids. These two pieces have always been—with the Dancer and Gazelles—Manship's most popular works." (J. Manship, Paul Manship, New York, 1989, p. 101)

    Manship produced additional bronze versions of Diana in 1921 and explored similar sized models of Acteon in 1923. This version of Diana was the original and smallest version the artist completed on the subject. A second model for Diana was executed in 1924 in gilded bronze, which stands just over 7-feet high, complete with eyes of blue and white enamel. This example, which may be the most recognizable version, can be found at the Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. A final version produced in bronze in 1925, measured 48-inches tall. While the edition size for the present version is unknown, Diana was a widely popular model and among the most acclaimed by critics, Harry Rand concluded, "Yet the smaller life-size version is, in many ways, the triumph of his career. Diana embodied the best of Manship's art, the highest aspirations of archaism and contemporary academicism, the promise for a legitimate and potent alternative to modernism, and an unsurpassable performance in bronzework" (H. Rand, Paul Manship, Washington, D.C., 1989, p. 76).

    Among the Diana casts known, there do not appear to be any examples of the model that also include silver plating such as the present lot. There is evidence that Manship did experiment with casting a few of his models in sterling silver and he frequently applied bronzes with select areas of gilt. Some of the examples of his work in sterling silver, unique casts among his primarily bronze editions, include Pekinese Dog and Persian Cat, both from 1931, and Seal of Missouri, produced later in 1946. The silver plating that adorns the present work almost reads as a costume, a layer of armor for Diana the defensive goddess. Within the ribbons of her hair, the drapery which is laid delicately upon her shoulder and the quiver which encases her arrows, each element radiates in a sheet of silver plating. The abstract vine that supports both figures is completely plated in silver, blooming as she glides in arabesque. Beneath her the hound's wild fur glistens with silver highlights. These details award the work as an example of exceptional quality and imagination. With the original silver plating having survived the century that followed after its execution, this work is a relic of the artist's highest technique and craftsmanship, as victorious as Diana the illuminated deity.

    Bonhams proudly offers this sculpture on behalf of the distinguished collection of Sylvia McLaughlin, an influential environmentalist from San Francisco, California. Mrs. McLaughlin was the founder of the Save the Bay Association, responsible in large part for stopping the filling and pollution of the San Francisco Bay. Named in her honor is The McLaughlin Eastshore State Park, in Berkeley, California. Her husband, Donald McLaughlin, was a professor of mining engineering and later became the CEO of Homestake Mining in San Francisco, as well as chairman of the University of California Board of Regents. The McLaughlin Hall, at University of California Berkeley, and McLaughlin Way, at University of California Santa Cruz campuses, are named after him.

    Mrs. McLaughlin grew up in Denver, Colorado. Her father, George E. Cranmer, also of Denver, began his career as a successful stockbroker. Leaving the finance world before the crash in 1929, he continued his career in public service and was appointed Director of Parks and Improvements for the City of Denver in the mid-1930s. He was responsible for the planning and development of Winter Park Ski Resort, Red Rocks Amphitheatre Theater and many other city-wide improvements. Suitably, Cranmer Park in Denver is named after him.

    George Cranmer and his wife Jean Cranmer moved to Denver in 1917 where they built a home on 200 Cherry Street. Designed by architect Jacques Benedict in Italian Renaissance style, the home, also known today as the Kerwin House, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. It is believed that Diana was purchased by Mr. Cranmer during this period. One can easily image the sculpture in their outdoor courtyard or through the French doors which lead to the home's impressive, vaulted-ceiling library.

    As the Art Deco style rose in popularity during the 1920s, so did taste for Manship's work. Diana combines the popular preservation of original, Neo-Classical forms, portrayed with a uniquely Modern style. While the artist never intentionally participated in the formation of the Art Deco movement and its far reaching influence, Manship's body of work represents some of the greatest contributions to the chapter of American Art Deco design.

    Additional examples of this version of Diana are recorded in the following public collections: the Snite Museum of Modern Art, University of Notre Dame, Indiana; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine; the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, Massachusetts.
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