Object Image

In 1926, Paul Manship was commissioned to build the Paul J. Rainey Memorial Gateway at the Bronx Zoo. The double gates stand over thirty-four feet high and forty-two feet wide, cost $250,000 to create, and took almost fifteen years to complete. Above the right gate, Manship modeled a group of deer. When the gates were complete, he issued independent casts of these sculptures to recoup some of the gateway's enormous costs. Group of Deer is one of these casts and is less than half the size of the original. Manship maintained the deer's poses but moved the animals from a profile to a frontal composition, making them appear more lifelike, as if they could be a family in nature. Manship carefully studied deer and made a number of sketches from life. He tried to capture different qualities in each sculpture, endowing the stag with a sense of elegance, the doe with a gentle character, and the faun with a sense of fragility.

Credit: Gift of the artist

82.6 x 69.8 x 48.2 cm
Image and text: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2024

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