cover image Paul-Manship


Harry Rand. Smithsonian Books, $55 (214pp) ISBN 978-0-87474-834-5

Once hailed as the patron saint of Art Deco--a movement he did not endorse--American sculptor Paul Manship (1885-1966) has slid into relative obscurity, his archaic revivalism dismissed by many critics as kitsch. Most casual viewers of his colossal bronze Prometheus Fountain in New York's Rockefeller Center or his dashing statue of Theodore Roosevelt set on an island in the Potomac may not know the sculptor's identity. A retrospective exhibit, which opens this month at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American Art and is scheduled to tour the country, aims to give the full credit due to the Minnesota-born sculptor, who is said to have posssessed ``formal originality almost without peer.'' This lavishly illustrated companion volume to the exhibit features his dramatic, Art Deco-ish Flight of Night , bronzes of Abe Lincoln, mythological figures, as well as figurines of birds, deer and other animals that will strike some as his most sincere and unpretentious works. (Apr.)