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1960 Seymour Lipton Born: New York, New York 1903 Died: Glen Cove, New York 1986 iron/brazed with nickel-silver on limestone base 11 7/8 x 15 1/2 x 6 7/8 in. (30.2 x 39.3 x 17.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mr. Seymour Lipton 1978.127.1 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 50A

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Luce Center Quote

“The mood of Manuscript is that of the pages of man’s history . . . it is a visual unfurling of the world on which is seen the interplay of chance and law, of ugliness and beauty . . .” Seymour Lipton, New York Times, August 1965

Luce Center Label

Lipton’s work explored a range of ideas including heroism, beauty, sexual conflict, and the mystery of birth and death. Manuscript depicts the struggle between law and violence throughout history. The curved layers of iron symbolize the paper on which laws are written and displayed. Lipton disrupted the smooth surface of the “paper” with a tangled mass of jagged metal, evoking the effect of violence within the human community.




metal - iron

metal - nickel silver

stone - limestone