Theme/Style – Modernism, figurative, medals, murals, bas-reliefs
Media – Bronze, stone, terra cotta, plaster, watercolor, ink
Artistic Focus – Sculptor Bruno Mankowski enjoyed an energetic and successful career as an artist: He created a large body of commissioned work in the form of architectural reliefs and commemorative medals, while simultaneously exhibiting often and winning awards for his strong and sensitive individual renderings of the human figure.
Career Highlights –
- Bruno Mankowski was born in Berlin, Germany in 1902, and attended Berlin’s State School of Fine Arts, as well as the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris before immigrating to the United States.
- Mankowski exhibited prints with Washington, DC’s Art League in 1934, and he was living in New York by the late 1930s.
- Working for the Treasury Section of Fine Arts in 1939, Mankowski created “The Farmer’s Letters,” a plaster relief sculpture for the Chesterfield, South Carolina Post Office, still on display there.
- Mankowski was included in the New Jersey State Exhibitions at the Montclair Art Museum during the early 1940s, where he won awards for his sculptures in 1940, 1942 and 1945; he also received a sculpture award from the American Artists Professional League in 1941.
- Mankowski carved reliefs for a building at Michigan State College in Lansing in 1948, and he exhibited at the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts, New York in 1949. He received a prize for his monumental sculpture “Pieta” at the 14th National Ceramic Exhibition at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, PA in 1950; the show also traveled to the California Art Club in Los Angeles.
- He carved the marble relief “Courage” over the West Entry to the U.S. Capitol’s Senate Chamber in 1950, from a model by Lee Lawrie; and in 1958-1962 Mankowski carved the 81-foot-wide marble “Genius of America” pediment at the East Central Entrance to the U.S. Capitol Building, a restoration of the original created by Luigi Persico in 1825-1828.
- He exhibited with the National Sculpture Society in Hackensack, NJ in 1955 and the Eastern Shore Arts Festival in Easton, MD in 1957. Also in 1957, the “Lithuanian Flyers Memorial” with Mankowski’s aluminum portrait relief plaque was installed in New York’s Lithuania Square.
- Mankowski sculpted many commemorative medals honoring historical personages and events, including the 75th anniversary of Edison’s invention of the incandescent light (1954), Franklin D. Roosevelt, George Gershwin, George Washington Carver (American Negro Commemorative Society), and Henry Aaron (1974); as well as Thomas Paine, Alexander Hamilton, and Marquis de Lafayette (1976-1977) for the American Bicentennial Commemorative Society.
- In 1960 Mankowski received the J. Sanford Saltus Medal Award for lifetime achievement in medallic art. He also received the Daniel Chester French Award from the National Academy of Design, awards for excellence as well as a Gold Medal (1978) from the National Sculpture Society, and a Gold Medal from the American Numismatic Association in 1980.
- Mankowski retired to Florida around 1981. He exhibited his sculptures at the DeLand Museum that year, and also taught workshops for the public. He passed away in DeBary, Florida in 1990.
- Mankowski’s bronze medals are in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the National Gallery of Art; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; the Worcester Art Museum; the Yale University Art Gallery; and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. His limestone relief portrait of Henry Clay Frick is in the collection of the University of Pittsburgh’s University Art Gallery.