New Award in honor of Paul Jeynes
April 19, 1927 – July 3, 2017
Continued from Newsletter...
Paul’s essence was sensitivity and creativity. He considered himself a practical idealist. His many achievements are notable, but his artistic success is remarkable given his lack of a formal art education or training. Paul briefly learned a few basic sculpting techniques from Frank Eliscu (Heisman Football Trophy), but basically, he was self-taught as both a sculptor and painter – and Paul was red-green colorblind, which is why he first chose to sculpt rather than paint.
Paul always wanted to be an artist. As a child, he designed and built model airplanes that actually flew high and far, and he wrote and illustrated science fiction and scary adventure stories. In junior and senior high, Paul’s cartoons were published in the school’s newspaper, and his plays were acted by his classmates and applauded by their parents. As a college undergraduate, Paul’s humorous stories, plays and cartoons were regularly featured in the nationally acclaimed Yale Record, and Life magazine published one of his cartoons as the Best Cartoon Drawn by a College Student. During his junior and senior years, Paul was elected to the prestigious position, Art Editor for the Yale Record. He was also involved in many extra curricular activities: he had a late-night radio show, a popular eight-piece band, “Sons of the Pioneers,” and he conceived and wrote what became a popular newspaper for Silliman College, where he lived on campus.
All this creative talent, and yet Paul’s parents neither encouraged nor supported his desire to be an artist. In college, Paul first tried to follow in his father’s footsteps and majored in engineering – but that didn’t work, and he switched to sociology and psychology (he called them “gut” majors) to graduate. After college Paul moved to New York City, and in the early 1950s, began a successful career in advertising and marketing (groundbreaking professions at that time). Because of his creativity and sensitivity to the marketplace, he was quickly promoted to Director of Marketing for several top corporations. During this time, Paul’s advertisements won some of the industry’s top awards and he developed products that continue to be successful
today, including Marlboro Man, Contact, NyQuil, L’eggs, and Porcelana.
But Paul hated the competitiveness and politics of business, and in 1973, he quit “cold turkey” to finally pursue his childhood dream of becoming an artist.
After experimenting with different media, Paul decided to sculpt with wax, and he quickly found his “style.” He created a series of rare and endangered animal sculptures that captured the spirit and charisma of each animal, rather than the detail of its appearance. His success was immediate: six major awards, 27 commissions, a monument, 43 exhibitions in the U.S. and London, repeated listings in both Who’s Who in American Art and the Dictionary of American Sculptors, plus numerous sales.
Paul once stated his artistic goals for his animal sculptures this way: “There’s a sense of elegance I want you to feel. That’s why my style is different and personal. Roger Caras (a collector and TV Network personality, author, and past president of the ASPCA) once told me that people wanted to reach out and touch my sculptures. I would put it this way: I want my animals to reach out and touch you. If they do, then you can share the magic. And that’s what it’s all about!”
And that’s exactly why Paul was so successful with his creativity and varied undertakings. He always reached out to involve the other person. His integrity and practical idealism was integrated into everything he did, and he took great pleasure using his creative and communication abilities to help young gifted artists and to influence change in the art world. Some examples follow.
In the late 1970s, Paul created a quarterly newsletter – The Artist’s Foundry – that gave practical advice to sculptors. He designed its logo and format, researched and wrote its content, and supervised production. It was immediately popular with the sculptors at Modern Art Foundry (where his wax models were cast into bronze) because of its informative useful content, e.g. insurance, shipping, commissions, contracts, bills of sale, foundry tips, working with galleries, legal
issues (protecting sculptures against unauthorized reproductions/multiples, royalties on resale, copyrights, etc.). Very
quickly word spread nationally as other sculptors, gallery owners, curators, art groups and schools heard about this new publication and wanted copies. Even the Smithsonian Institution collected The Artist’s Foundry for its files.
In 1978, Paul conceived of and implemented a Student Awards Program (SAP) to encourage, recognize and reward gifted high school and college sculptors. He promoted SPA in The Artist’s Foundry and received hundreds of entries from all over the country. The judges were impressive (Linda Benglis, Will Horwill, Ruben Kadish, James Rosati, Tony Smith) as were the prizes for 16 winners (Modern Art Foundry cast their sculptures free of charge, and they were exhibited in NYC’s prestigious Kennedy Art Gallery. The top two national winners participated in the foundry’s summer internship program).
In the mid-1970s when the art market and prices of original art began to soar, so did sales of unauthorized unlimited reproductions of paintings and sculpture. Paul learned about and fought against this unscrupulous practice by first explaining in The Artist’s Foundry that since there was no law that defined “limited editions,” there was a need for an organization that guaranteed high standards for ethically reproducing sculpture. Soon, Paul was the force behind organizing and establishing the Art Founder’s Guild of America (AFGA), incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1981. Foundry owners who joined AFGA agreed to document every sculpture cast using a Certificate of Metal Casting that included the name of the artist and foundry where the sculpture was cast, the date it was created, its title, dimensions, edition number or one-of-a-kind, and the medium/process used to make it. Owners also agreed to keep the Certificate in their files and file
a copy with AFGA, thus establishing a national registry. By 1989, AFGA was endorsed by all the important sculpture and art societies worldwide.
In 1978 and 1979 Paul spoke at public hearings in Albany to promote legislation that defined “limited editions” and to alert consumers of the pitfalls of buying “original” paintings and sculptures produced in numerous quantities. In 1980, he explained again, in The Artist’s Foundry, the myth of “limited editions,” and how commercial enterprises continued to use slick advertising to exploit uninformed art enthusiasts by encouraging them to buy worthless reproductions as “collectables.”
In 1981, Paul spoke at another public hearing to protect the unauthorized reproduction of sculptures. This time he used the 1959 U.S. Custom Law’s criteria (up to 10 bronze castings are accepted as “originals” for duty-free import) to define and restrict “limited editions” of sculpture. He informed New York State legislators about AFGA and how foundries throughout America had joined and were already documenting every sculpture cast, limiting reproductions to 10 pieces plus one artist’s proof, authorized by the artist.
By 1986, New York State passed a law that regulated the sale of paintings/prints, and finally, in 1991, it passed a law that required full disclosure and documentation of sculpture as part of its sale – a law that mirrored AFGA’s purpose. Also, in 1991, France took action to control the casting, reproduction, and selling of unauthorized sculptures by establishing The Syndicate General des Fondeurs de France, using standards similar to AFGA’s.
In all, Paul wrote 30 editions of The Artist’s Foundry from 1978-2000 while sculpting wildlife.
In 2001, he began painting imaginary scenes of the Gilded Age. His paintings were also successfully exhibited and sold. In 2006, Paul also painted scenes from his childhood memories (1930s and 1940s).
Throughout his 45 years as a sculptor and painter, Paul thrived in his artistic pursuits. He had realized his childhood dream and had become an artist. He was happy and fulfilled. He was also proud of his contributions towards achieving the “ideal art world” he felt artists should have. And yet, for all the time and energy Paul invested in his idealistic vision, he remained behind the scenes. He was satisfied to be a catalyst for change. He didn’t expect recognition or reward for his accomplishments; they were the satisfying end result of his idealism and sense of fair play. That was the only reward Paul needed – and wanted.
For more information about Paul Jeynes' sculpture, paintings and newsletters, please contact his wife, Mary Kay Jeynes at email@example.com