Edward Middleton Manigault

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The Rocket (1909), Columbus Museum of Art.
A New England Town (1911), Columbus Museum of Art.

Edward Middleton Manigault (June 14, 1887 – August 31, 1922) was an American Modernist painter.


Manigault was born in London, Ontario, on June 14, 1887.[1] His parents were Americans originally from South Carolina.[1] Encouraged in art from an early age, he was commissioned at the age of 18 by the city of London to make renderings of public buildings for reproduction as postcards.[2]

Manigault moved to New York City in 1905 and enrolled in classes at the New York School of Art[1] where he studied under Robert Henri and Kenneth Hayes Miller. By 1909 he had moved away from Realism and had begun producing paintings in a Post-Impressionism style. In that year he first exhibited his work in New York, and in 1910 he participated in the Exhibition of Independent Artists, organized by Henri.[1] In the spring of 1912, he traveled through England and France. In 1914, he staged a critically acclaimed one-man show at the Charles Daniel Gallery.[1] His art was purchased by such notable collectors as J. Paul Getty and Arthur Jerome Eddy.[2] Manigault volunteered to serve as an ambulance driver with the British Expeditionary Force in 1915, during World War I.[1] He married Gertrude Buffington Phillips two days before he shipped out. Manigault served as an ambulance driver in Flanders from April to November 1915.[1] He received a medical discharge after being exposed to mustard gas; he suffered a nervous breakdown and his health would continue to decline for the remainder of his life.[2]


Manigault worked in a wide range of styles following the war, experimenting in abstract and Cubist styles. He found these styles unsatisfying and destroyed most of his paintings.[1] He was inspired by the example of American modernists, including William and Marguerite Zorach. In 1919 he and his wife resettled in the Echo Park district of Los Angeles, California.[2] Manigault subsequently became inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement, and began to produce decorative works, including ceramics and furniture.[2] He was also commissioned by Oneida Limited to design flatware.[2]

Manigault practiced fasting in an attempt "to approach the spiritual plane and see colors not perceptible to the physical eye", which exacerbated his poor health.[1] His wife normally monitored his habits, and after he traveled alone to San Francisco to work on a job, he collapsed and was hospitalized.[2] He died on August 31, 1922, of starvation and neurasthenia.[2]


Manigault is believed to have destroyed as many as two hundred of his paintings; consequently, few paintings by Manigault survive.[1] His work notebooks cover the years from 1906 to 1919.[1] Interest was renewed in his work in 1946, and his paintings were included in the exhibition "Pioneers of Modern Art in America 1903-1918" at the Whitney Museum of American Art.[1] His work is in the permanent collections of the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio, and the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Roberts, Norma J., ed. (1988), The American Collections, Columbus Museum of Art, p. 68, ISBN 0-8109-1811-0.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Ptach, Dave (Summer 2005), "Fellowship Parkway Artist Fasted for Sake of Vision", Echo Park Historical Society News, archived from the original on November 29, 2014, retrieved August 29, 2011.

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