Tag Archives: venus

closing soon: art exhibition includes rare Paul Manship sculptures you could own

This intimate and museum worthy exhibition, THE MANSHIPS, is a rare chance to see and purchase original work by a talented family of artists: Paul Manship, Margaret Cassidy (daughter in law), and John Paul Manship (son). The show closes August 6th. Flatrocks Gallery is located at 77 Langsford Street, in Gloucester, Massachusetts. 

Paul Manship

(b. 1885 St Paul, MN –  d. 1966 NY, NY)

Paul Manship was an American sculptor of international status. His most famous work of art was the public art fountain he was commissioned to create for Rockefeller Center in New York City.  The 18 feet high, gilt bronze statue of the treasured Greek myth, Prometheus Bringing Fire From Heaven, soars above the skating rink. It was installed in 1934 during the Great Depression and includes an inscription above the statue: “Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends.” (The artist’s model for Prometheus was a lifeguard from New Rochelle, NY, hired regularly for life classes at women’s colleges. I have not been able to track down a picture of him at work, but have tried.) Prometheus refers to the Titan granted the power of creating mankind out of mud and water. What was missing? Fire, of course, which Prometheus stole from the Gods, a selfless act for humanity that nearly had him punished for eternity (in a memorably sad, gruesome and groundhog day bit of the myth) if not for Hercules. In Manship’s ingenious composition, heaven and earth are filled with Prometheus, clutching fire coals, and the artist’s signature forms and themes in every detail. Note the forms of the water spray in this photo from 1934 and the effect of the water over the base!

1934

 

photo caption: 1943 Christmas Tree, Skaters, Paul Manship Prometheus, Rockefeller Center 

skaters and christmas tree 1943 Gottscho Schleisner

 

photo caption: Gordon Parks, 1945 with detail showing back and hair of Paul Manship Prometheus

gordon parks 1945a

 

photo caption: Carol Highsmith Rockefeller Center (Paul Manship Prometheus) ca.1980 

Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division date unknown (1980 to 2010)

Why am I going into such detail about the Prometheus statue?

Paul Manship lifetime bronzes from the family estate have been made available for sale during this exhibition!

This exhibit at Flatrocks includes a complete set of Manship’s famous tondo Zodiac medallion ashtrays, ca.1946  ($18,000). Manship was a cigar smoker. Ashtrays weren’t a big creative leap from medallic art. He created his first one in 1915. They were utilitarian, and sculptural objects. He did this with architectural details in his home, a Manship (rather than Midas) touch. He worked out a deal with Medallic Art Company to replicate them. People bough their favorite zodiac sign for themselves or as gifts. Even if you don’t know Manship’s motifs like the zodiac ring around Prometheus, it’s fun to linger and observe the entire set.

photo caption: Installation view of display case, an exhibition within an exhibition.

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Compare the Paul Manship Aquarius from the Zodiac set with a zoomed in detail from Prometheus

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detail zodiac ring

 

A first edition of Manship’s creative and original representation of Venus Anadyomene “Venus Rising from the Sea” is also available for sale! It’s modeled in bronze and set on a marble base, measuring 7.5″ (not including base) and dates from 1924 ($42,000).

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Artists and patrons through the ages couldn’t resist this Aphrodite lure. Manship’s sculpture isn’t as famous as Botticelli’s, but it should be — and not just because his kneeling modern beauty has the best wrought hair wringing out there. It’s just a fabulous sculpture.

The main commission for the new Addison Gallery building at Phillips Academy  which opened in 1931 was this Manship sculpture.  Unforgettable and rendered in gorgeous alabaster, the Addison Gallery’s Venus Anadyomene from 1927 is one of the world’s most optimally sited sculptures. The whole museum flows from this Venus. Now you can purchase the sculpture that inspired Addison’s architect, Charles Platt, to make such a brilliant selection. Platt also designed the Freer Gallery in Washington, DC, which is equally sublime.

Another life cast that’s for sale is this vividly detailed and lovely Perseus and Andromeda, 1965 ($39,000).  There’s a rescue and great tension so effective with the mixed materials, florid and fascinating. There’s poor Andromeda sacrificed by her mother Cassiopeia to appease Poseidon and beg off a sea monster. You can pick out the anger and emotion in that sea. The bag with Medusa’s severed head was captivating, bounced just so, side quests are still to come after all. I’m fascinated by Manship’s treatment of time. Speaking of which, make sure to leave enough of it to study those glorious Manship reaching hands and gestures. Don’t forget the sword and winged sandals Hermes gave Perseus.

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Another knock one’s socks off lifetime bronze that’s for sale is David, ca.1916-1921 ($72,000), mesmerizing composition and signature elegant articulation.

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Manship came to Gloucester in 1915–before his first solo exhibition– and rented until the 1940s when they were able to purchase fourteen contiguous acres in Lanesville, ensuring the acquisition of two, gorgeous abandoned quarries. His daughter Pauline and her husband Ilmari Natti also bought a home in Lanesville in the 1940s. After Manship died, his son John Manship and daughter in law Margaret Cassidy continued to reside and work in the family estate. The Flatrocks Gallery location, vibe, and roster make it an ideal gallery for this exhibit and fundraiser. Proceeds will help the nationally significant Manship estate and property.

 

John Paul Manship (1927-2000)

Make sure to look back at John Manship’s work from the next room as well as up close. There are strong works from different series and decades primarily of the landscape and people about him, and so many greens! They range in price from $750-$10,000.

 

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Margaret Cassidy Manship

(Cassidy died in 2012)

I was so intrigued by the 3 Cassidy works.  The painting and bronze of Beryl Grimball are sold as a pair ($5000) and the portrait from life of Pope Pius XII is $7000. She also sculpted Pope John Paul II and Presidents Carter and Reagan. I hope to see more.

 

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Rubber Duck Science Tuesday

1) Celestial Pin Ball continues tonight with Venus practically slamming into Jupiter in the western sky over Cape Ann just after sunset. I posted about it here and here.

But we live in New England so we have missed the approach of Venus in the past week except for a glimpse and tonight right before they come into view we will leave this slice of clear air and clouds will again block our view. Try and get a glimpse because it is the closest aproach of these two planets in 2,000 years. What happened 2,000 years ago? That’s right. Some people say that the combo of the two brightest objects in the sky (besides sun and moon), was the Star of Bethlehem.

If you do catch a peak, check them out with binoculars and consider the fact you are looking at an inner planet as a crescent and a giant outer planet with four moons visible. Be one with the universe.

2) For science geek awesomeness it does not get any better than tonight at midnight 23:59:60 which will be followed by 24:00:00. How can that be? Those are the same exact times! But this is how those sneaky scientists wedge an extra leap second into today. So pour yourself another drink because today is longer than any other day of the year. Also pray that satellites and planes do not fall from the sky as computer systems worldwide add a second to their systems in different ways. Google is so freaked that they are going to do what they call a “leap smear” and spread the additional second over several minutes.

If you google "Google Leap Smear" this image is the first hit.  Enjoy your 23:59:60.

If you google “Google Leap Smear” this image is the first hit. Enjoy your 23:59:60. It is also possible, besides the internet exploding, that this is an actual head exploding of the one person who thinks 60 seconds on a microwave is longer than typing in one minute.

FYI: The leap second is added because the rotation of the earth is slowing and 1 PM would eventually become high noon. The leap second is also being added at midnight Greenwich Mean Time. That is 8 PM on Cape Ann so if you want to send a text message to your loved ones be sure you get it done before 7:59:59 tonight. Go out and look at the Star of Bethlehem instead.

Astronomy Orgasm: Threesome Tonight!

Holy cow, New England weather is going to give us clear skies tonight as an impressive threesome happens after sunset.

Here’s the deal. There was a supermoon last night but it’s a new moon so no one saw it. It means tonight it is one humongous thin fingernail. But wait, there’s more. Venus will be blazing away just to the left of the fingernail. But here is the cherry on top. Whip out some binoculars and check out Mars just above Venus! You might be able to get all three in wide field birding binocs. But even without binocs it will look pretty cool.

Look to the right of where the sun set and Venus will be blazing. Mars up and sliver of moon to the right.

Look to the right of where the sun set and Venus will be blazing. Mars up and sliver of moon to the right.

 

Photographers Ephemeris shows where you need to be to catch the three setting over City Hall. Is that Joey’s dock?

moonset

Did I really type “sunset hear”? Well to all the grammarians who just started grinding their teeth I say, “lighten up Francis, I’m not going back to change it.”

 

Credits: First shot I made in “StarSafari” astronomy program. Gloucester Area Astronomy Club Approved. The second photo I made using “The Photographers Ephemeris“. Probably GAAC approved too. Both programs worth knowing how to use.

Become One with the Solar System Tonight

OK, checking out the Moon, Jupiter, and Venus last night was a bust on Cape Ann because of the clouds. But tonight is the night. Tonight is the night you can become one with the solar system and all you need is some decent birding binoculars and a view of the sunset.

Sunset is at 5:27PM. Once it gets dark the sky above that setted sun in the west will look like this:

[edit] Donna was going out at 5:15 PM which is too early (and too cold). Nautical twilight is 6:30 PM, good start of the show and astronomical twilight is 7:00 PM which is good for photography unless you want to pick up some foreground lighthouse or something.

OK, here is where the “become one with the solar system” happens. Take your binocs and check out Venus. It’s not quite round. That is because it circles the sun inside the earth’s track around the sun and it is mostly full but slightly “waning gibbous**”. Since you know where the sun is (just below the horizon, duh), you can really feel where it is in 3D. An inner planet speeding towards us.  Now take a look at Jupiter. An outer planet it is lit as a complete circle. But while you are there check out the four moons of Jupiter that you can spot with binocs.  Callisto top left along with Io and Ganymede also on the left and very close together with Europa hanging down bottom right. Look at them tomorrow and they’ll be different. So now you are really picking up on the 3D effect of everything spinning around. And do not forget our moon sitting there lit up on the bottom from the same light source lighting them all up, our sun. With decent wide field birding binoculars you should be able to get Jupiter and her moons and earth’s moon in the same view!!

Now that you have them all burned into your brain and the sky gets even darker as the sun sets consider that the reason the sun is setting is that you are standing on a planet spinning back away from the direction you are looking at about 900 mph. Planet earth, northern hemisphere spinning back so that that the inner and outer planet as well as the central sun of the solar system and even the moon of your home planet slowly moves to set in front of you. Got it all pictured and positioned in 3D? Are you dizzy?  Best show on earth and it’s all free complete with the Dog Bar Breakwater thrown in. You see it first but that dude on the beach in California is 3,000 miles in front of you so his front row seat moves into position in about three hours. Can you see him? Down in front!

I’m going to check it out from Halibut Point if the wind does not blow me away. Click the diagram for more details at Earth Sky dot org.

** Venus is waning gibbous which means it is moving away from full as it speeds towards us. If you check with binocs over the next month as it gets closer to sunset but also closer to us it will become a crescent.

Future Study: Milky Way Galaxy and how you fit in it: The Universe by Monty Python. The song is where I got the 900 mph. A great reference.

Get it Together: Moon, Venus, and Jupiter, at Sunset

I wasn’t going to post this because every time I point out something astronomical the dang clouds move in. But I see some blue sky right now. Tonight, just above the setting sun, the waxing crescent moon hangs with Venus (the bright one), and Jupiter. Sunset is 5:26 PM.

Click the photo to go to EarthSky and get the details. The moon will be marching up past those two planets over the next few days so don’t be bummed if one of these 30 mph clouds is blocking it all tonight.

Mercury and Venus in the morning

If you happen to be up as astronomical twilight begins at 5:30 AM you can catch Mercury rising before the sunrise at 7:14AM. 6:30AM might be a good time to see it. Finding bright Venus is easy. Then go left and down to find Mercury.

Fun Fact: Joey down in St Croix doesn’t have to go as far left. If he was on the equator Mercury would be straight below Venus.