|During the summer of 1943 Manship began looking at property to buy on Cape Ann. It was a good time to do so. The local granite quarries had closed, and the Rockport Granite Company was in bankruptcy; its only business was the liquidation of its real estate. Paul therefore had a wide choice and eventually purchased fourteen acres of quarry land in Lanesville, Massachusetts, across the street from the Natti's farmhouse and a short walk to the village, a distinct advantage during the war, when no one had a car. The property contained two handsome quarries filled with water, delightful for swimming in the summer and for skating in the winter. Because it was wartime, there was difficulty in acquiring building materials. When an old house in Pigeon Cove was offered for sale on the condition it be moved, Manship bought it and had it taken apart and rebuilt. The family moved into this house in the spring of 1945. It was then that Manship was able to buy a splendid oxen barn dating from the 1840's to use as a studio. Work on the Lanesville property continued through the 1950's. Manship made it a showcase for his sculpture, designing a terrace for his world's fair groups.|
|At the top of his profession, Manship was optimistic about his own role in the postwar world. Honors were bestowed on him from all over the world: corresponding membership in the Academia Nacional de las Bellas Artes in Argentina in 1944 and in the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1946, and membership in the oldest of the academies - l'Accademia di San Luca in Rome -in 1952. In the spring of 1945 he was awarded the gold medal for sculpture by the National Institute of Arts and Letters and given a retrospective exhibition in its handsome galleries. Manship was elected the president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1948,
Conquest of the Skies
|and in 1950 he was elected president of the Century Club. When it was possible to travel again after the war, Manship established a routine that he would follow for the rest of his life. At some time during the year he would make a trip to Europe, going to Florence to work at the Bearzi Foundry, to Rome to stop at the Academy, and often to Paris to visit old friends, especially architect Welles Bosworth. During the warm seasons he would travel back and forth to Lanesville, but unfortunately his asthma made it impossible for him to stay there long. After two or three weeks he would have to hurry back to New York to recover in its impure but pollen less air. The rest of the time he spent working in his New York studio. He rarely used his great studio in Lanesville, except for small pieces.|
|Surprisingly, Manship did very little religious sculpture during his long career. A St. Joseph marble statue, commissioned by C. Grant LaFarge (1862-1938, the son of the great painter John Lafarge) for a church in Providence, Rhode Island, was the only work of consequence he was to do in this genre. It's unclear why this should have been. He was not himself a church-going man, but this shouldn't have made a difference. He certainly was very sensitive to the great tradition of religious art. Perhaps he didn't get church commissions because he didn't seek them out and because he became known for a different type of sculpture. Ecclesiastical art is something of a specialty, and the sculptors of his generation who worked extensively in the field tended to|
| do little else. It is too bad in a way, as he very much
enjoyed the challenge of working in many genres.
Paul Manship did commissioned work during his later years, but he also worked on a number of pieces for his own pleasure, including a series of small bronzes modeled originally in wax and cast by the lost-wax process. He had begun doing these works, which he called his "pet creations," in the 1930's, modeling figures in wax the way someone else might knit or do crossword puzzles. He carried a cigar box of wax and toothpicks to use as armatures, especially on his frequent transatlantic flights. He experimented with all types of subjects, often using a semiprecious stone as a base, and the work was done with the freedom and assurance that result from half a century of experience. These pieces are like lyric poems and are probably Manship's most deeply personal works; he was very reluctant to sell any of them. The series was almost intact when he died and was divided mainly between the two museums that were his principal beneficiaries.
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