Object Image

Garden of Eden Sundial

Paul Manship created a number of monumental sundials during his career, including one for the 1939 New York World's Fair. A sundial works by projecting a shadow that moves as the Earth rotates around the sun. In Garden of Eden Sundial, the long stick would indicate the time by casting a shadow on the numbers that line the inside of the sphere. Marie Louise Speed commissioned this depiction of the Garden of Eden to decorate private grounds surrounding her estate outside Louisville, Kentucky. In the scene, Adam and Eve grasp the fruit of knowledge that will drive them from paradise. Manship patterned Adam's hair on the serpent's scales to emphasize man's fall from grace.

Credit: Bequest of Paul Manship

92.7 x 30.5cm
Image and text: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2024

Where you'll find this