Friday, August 22, 2008

Addison Manships Make Trip to Ipswich

For years, our two large Paul Manship bronzes, Actaeon and Diana, have graced the rotunda and front foyer of the Addison. While our building is closed for renovation, they can be seen in an entirely new setting, the Great House at Castle Hill, on the Crane Estate of the Trustees of Reservations in Ipswich, Massachusetts, as part of their exhibition Paul Manship: A Modern Classicist.

I took a ride to Ipswich to see the objects installed. They had already been well-packed in "slat crates" for their move from the museum to our temporary off site art storage space. Fine Arts Enterprises (FAE) provided the transportation from there to Ipswich. Craig Prest and Andrew Larue backed their truck up to the largest door available, carefully pulled the crates off using pallet jacks over a ramp strategically placed over the entrance stairs (see left, click all images for larger views), and rolled them through the mansion's opulent rooms (see right) to the main stairwell.

Here's where things got interesting. The two sculptures needed to be brought up the massive stairwell to the exhibition space on the second level, but there was no elevator. The staff of the Crane Estate called for their grounds crew to come gather and lend us a hand. It took six people to carefully and methodically lift each heavy bronze sculpture up the stairs (see left). I lent a hand bringing up one of the objects and I can say we were very glad The Trustees had so many people available to help.

Once the sculptures were in the exhibition space, exhibition co-curator Susan Hill Dolan, The Trustees Historic Resources Manager - Northeast Region, had FAE place them in their positions (see right) where they will soon be joined by a variety of loans from other institutions and private collectors. Having only seen them in the Addison's entrance, I was amazed at how different the objects looked in their new location. New details are apparent in the new light. They are placed by a window that overlooks the Crane Estate's own Manships outside, two large griffins that stand guard over the mansion's beautifully maintained grounds and gardens. These sculptures were a gift to Mr. Crane upon completion of the Great House in 1928, and it is in honor of the anniversary of this gift that The Trustees of Reservations is holding the exhibition

The exhibition opens Thursday, September 25th and I encourage everyone to come see the show, our objects, and visit the incredible Great House that graces the top of Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich!

James M. Sousa
Associate Registrar for Collections and Archives

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