My beautiful KNEELING NUDE by Bruno MankowskiRead More
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! ✌🏼️
Next weekend I am going to be heading to my first Pyrex swap meet in the Baltimore, MD area! I am really excited to meet up with other collectors and their families. Should be a fun time and I already have a few trade deals hammered out so will have lots to tell when i get back! For those of you who are interested, I will definitely do a write up on the experience! This is a nicely organized event and I believe they are expecting about 75 collectors/shoppers plus family and support! I am pretty much all packed- Pyrex wise, and will add some other goodies of interest from my inventory as I pack the van.
Not sure what is up the with weather this week but it is cold and yucky once again in the Northeast. I have a list of projects to do but am waiting for warmer sunny weather to spend days in my garage working. Before I start my next restoration, I have a few things to finish on items I have listed. The chrome dinette chairs I just listed will be taken apart so I can clean the chrome underneath. There was a lot of surface rust on them, but it cleaned right off with some tricks. I can get the underneath better by taking the legs off to finish. I try my best to clean things up and these were very labor intensive, but I want them to look great for their new home. That said, I also found out about another rust removal product I would like to try on the vinyl. One chair has some rust stains on it. Hoping this might do the trick. Generally they are in ok shape and the pattern on the vinyl is so awesome! Here is a look.
Diamond Chair update: I have this chair listed in a few major markets because, well, I know it is not for everyone. I received a message from a lovely woman, Mary Thorp, who found my listing and thought enough to reach out and let me know she approved of my restoration work. It makes me truly happy for feedback like this. This woman founded the Harry Bertoia Research Project, which catalogs known pieces of his work. Ms. Thorp is a lecturer, aficionado and expert on Bertoia. Knowing how much the artist and his works are loved and admired, I am very proud to have gotten a response out of someone who is an expert in this area. If you are lucky to own any original pieces of Bertoia sculpture, you may register them with her page. Mary is an asset to preserving the legacy of the artist and his works. Fabulous!
I think things are starting to move again. I have had some sales over the weekend and things are shipping out. A little relief in a stressful time as my husband is still on strike…..we are 5 weeks into it and growing weary and poor. Thank you for your support as every sale is much appreciated! Have a great week and look forward to a great review of the swap next week!