I am currently en route to Washington DC for a weekend of museum hopping, hotel lounging and city walking. The family is focused on the fun but I am focused on all things Bruno Mankowski. Months back, I picked up a lovely sculpture from an estate clean out that featured a kneeling nude woman. I was quickly drawn to her as my late Aunt would have loved her. I put her crusty self in my pile. It was not until I got her home and started to clean 3 years of vacant home filth off of her that I realized she was not a 70's ceramic project, but a signed original sculpture. But the next question that comes to mind was.,...who is Bruno Mankowski? After some web searching, I found out he was a WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION (WPA) Artist. FDR 's great contribution to keeping America working after the depression consisted of National Parks construction projects and art for public spaces like post offices and government buildings. These working artists were commissioned to beautify our spaces. Mankowski had the opportunity to replace an ailing sandstone cornice in the capital with his granite piece. I hope to find it this weekend during our tour. I also found out that he was known as a bronze medal sculptor. This info was available searching the web. I found 2 old auction listings with my nude lady pictured. I really have no reason to believe they are the same one I have so he maybe cast more than one. Apparently that is normal during the sculpting process. One for sure has different toes than mine. How many ladies are out there? What is she made of? Why was she made?! I also found, during my web searching, that upon the artists death (1903-1991), his records and catalog were donated to the American Art Archives in Washington, DC., by his dealer. There are 200 photographs of his works, letters and other artifacts and they are available, by reservation, for free perusal! Well, that is all I needed plus 2 kiddos begging to see museums. So here we are, sitting poolside in the Embassy Suites, awaiting a day of fun and exploration! My appointment is Friday at 9:30, I am headed there after breakfast. I hope I can uncover some facts about her but most important, learn more about this man and help preserve his legacy by telling his story! By the time you email folks get this update, I will be buried in my box of Mankowski or perhaps still being checked in and briefed! Stay tuned for more but I will need to ask how to have my photos approved for publishing so that might delay my post a bit. Enjoy some pics of our evening exploring the National Mall.
Wish me luck! ✌🏼️