A bronze statue captures the Roman goddess Diana in midair, her hand having released the arrow from her bow as she looks back at the imaginary beast behind her. A small bronze dog is leaping alongside her, and both seem to be in flight. The statue, titled “Diana,” is part of artist Paul Manship’s exhibit “From Starfield To MARS: Paul Manship and His Artistic Legacy.”
The exhibit opened on September 15 and is located on the second floor of the Addison Gallery of American Art. Presented by Allison Kemmerer and Susan Faxon, Curators for the Addison Gallery, Manship’s work is divided into two sections: “Art Deco at Andover” and “Starfield Through Contemporary Lenses.” “Art Deco at Andover” features two bronze statues by Manship and borrows pieces from his estate Starfield, also known as Manship Artists Residency + Studios (MARS). A series of photographs borrowed from Manship’s estate show his creative process and are also on display.
“[The photos are] a very nice touch to the whole exhibit to see the entire process of the art. It’s not like it comes out from the first take. It’s trial and error,” said Chloe Mees ’22.
Kemmerer said, “You get a window into how he developed his famous pieces and his aesthetic. And that’s a great opportunity. Normally, we just see an artist’s finished piece, and you have no idea how he really spent so much time considering the slightest variation in the turn of the head or the gaze or where the foliage would end up on the figure.”
Manship was connected to Andover through Thomas Cochran, Class of 1890. Their letter exchanges are included in the exhibit as well. Manship’s works, including the “Venus Anadyomene” fountain at the entrance of the museum and the Armillary Sphere, have become integral parts of Andover’s campus.
“Cochran donated a core collection of 400 works to the museum, and they included a bunch of Manship’s sculptures and medals. [Cochran] was a fan of Manship’s work, which is why the fountain, the first thing you see when you enter the [Addison], is [by] an artist he greatly admired,” said Kemmerer.
The exhibit’s other section, “Starfield Through Contemporary Lenses,” displays the works of four photographers — Barbara Bosworth, Justin Kimball, S. Billie Mandle, and Abelardo Morell — who drew inspiration from a year’s worth of visits to Starfield.
“The idea was that Starfield would be the springboard for whatever they wanted to do. They just had to spend time there and respond to it in whichever way spoke to them. These are four artists that had the same assignment, and they came up with completely different perspectives,” said Kemmerer.
Kimball’s “Living room” is a photograph of a direct view of a large window, through which bright autumn trees and water outside are in motion. Inside the room a streak of sunlight hits two well-worn chairs that face an old table adorned with an empty plate.
“All the colors look vivid, with the trees in the background, [but] it seems kind of lonely somehow. It’s all of these photographs in general, where it’s places where someone should be or someone used to be, and all of it is empty,” said attendee Chayuta Chirametakorn ’22.
This section also featured Bosworth’s “Quarry #2.” The photo depicts a silhouette of dense foliage against a navy blue backdrop. The bottom half is a hazy reflection on a lake of the silhouettes and night sky. A white light shining above the trees provides a sharp contrast to the muted surroundings.
“[Bosworth] just loved the way the night united the sky and the water and the quarries. These [photos] are just lovely, velvety nocturnes that really speak of the beauty of this place, which is extraordinary. [Bosworth] mined our storage rooms and found paintings of Cape Ann or nearby, and photographed them,” said Kemmerer.
“From Starfield To MARS: Paul Manship and His Artistic Legacy” will be on display until January 20.