This figure of Erato, the muse of lyric poetry, was made by Paul Manship, the artist best known for his sculptures made for New York City's Rockefeller Center. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Manship won the coveted Prix de Rome in 1909. During his three-year residence at the American Academy in Rome, he developed his own distinctive response to European modernism but retained his ties to historical traditions. Manship avoided the expressive modeling and emotionalism of most contemporary American sculpture, preferring decorative lines, geometric patterns, and sleek surfaces. Without literal references, he drew his inspiration from such diverse civilizations as the archaic Greeks, Minoans, Assyrians, and Indians.