Rebecca Reynolds and MARS

The National Sculpture Society (NSS) will present the Sculpture House Annual Award to Rebecca Reynolds, founder and president of Manship Artists Residency + Studios (MARS). The award recognizes those who support figurative sculpture.

Rebecca Reynolds is the power behind saving the home and studio of NSS member Paul Manship (1885-1966), one of America’s great sculptors and creator of the Prometheus statue in New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza. Manship was among the countless artists who were drawn to Cape Ann’s scenic shores and working waterfront. To create his home, Manship moved two houses, the old Story house and the old Lorenzo Berry ox barn. New York architect, Eric Gugler (also an NSS member) and local builder, William “Bill” Neimi did much of the work to combine the houses to create living and studio spaces.

In 2016, MARS received non-profit status, with Reynolds as principal officer. About a year later, the non-profit bought the property with the $650,000 it raised, and in 2019, the property opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony. MARS has thrived since its opening, serving both artists and the local community and protecting the natural habitats within the 15 acre-property.

Reynolds is a museum professional and arts administrator with some 30 years’ experience. She served as a curator and art consultant specializing in American sculpture, as the founding director of Forest Hills Educational Trust and its public art program, and as a member of Gloucester’s Committee for the Arts (2016-2019). She is an authority on Cape Ann artists, as well as on Hiram Powers and Paul Manship. Robin R. Salmon, VP of Art and Historical Collections and Curator of Sculpture at Brookgreen Gardens, calls Reynolds “a force of nature and impeccable scholar” – one that has done so much for American sculpture.

In 2002, Bruner Barrie, president of Sculpture House, along with Jack North, former president of Chavant and Marc Fields, president of The Compleat Sculptor, established The Sculpture House Annual Award. Past recipients of the annual award include author and historian Donald Martin Reynolds, PhD, and former curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, George Gurney, PhD.

In 1893, leading U.S. sculptors and architects founded the National Sculpture Society to “spread the knowledge of good sculpture” throughout the country. Founding members created most of this nation’s public monuments at the turn of the last century. NSS was incorporated in 1896 and received tax-exemption status as a 501(c)(3) organization in 1939. Professional sculptors and architects continue to lead the organization in fulfilling its mission today. The award presentation will take place on June 4th and is part of the annual NSS Sculpture Conference, June 3-5 in Stockbridge, MA.