made its debut at the World’s Fair of 1915, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.
The original Descending Night was purchased by William Randolph Hearst (Citizen Kane) and resides in the Hearst Castle in California.
A 1917 casting from the original mold was purchased in 1994 by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art through the Morris K. Jesup Fund.
Our copy adorns the prestigious Ramsey Room of Engelbrecht House, Wizard Academy’s amazing student mansion. Another copy is mounted so it appears to be suspended in mid-air in a recessed niche in the courtyard of Engelbrecht House. (Below)
Both copies were gifts of Jean Backus.
Audrey Munson was 25 years old when she posed for Descending Night.
Three years later, Audrey was living with her mother in a boarding house in New York owned by Dr. Walter Wilkins. Wilkins fell in love with Audrey. Desiring to make himself eligible for her, Wilkins murdered his wife, Julia. Although Audrey and her mother had left NYC prior to the murder the police still wished to question them and this resulted in a nationwide hunt for them. They finally were questioned in Toronto, Canada, where they testified that they had moved out because Mrs. Wilkins had requested it. This satisfied the police, but the negative publicity ended Munson’s career as a model and actress. Dr. Wilkins was tried and found guilty. Although sentenced to the electric chair he hanged himself in his prison cell before the sentence could be carried out. Twenty-nine years old and unable to find work, Audrey returned with her mother to New York and worked for a while selling kitchen utensils door to door. Soon she began showing signs of mental unbalance and paranoia and in 1931 a judge ordered the 39-year-old Munson into a psychiatric facility for treatment. Audrey was to remain there for the next 65 years, until her death in 1996 at the age of 104… another Broken Angel