Happy Birthday! ~ Hermon A. MacNeil from Mr. Lincoln of Illinois ~ MacNeil Month 2012By
Abe Lincoln is helping celebrate Hermon A. MacNeil’s birthday on February 27th of this week. The sculptor was born in 1866 in Chelsea, Mass nearly ten months after Mr. Lincoln was assassinated.
Actually, the statue’s festive hat shown here was for the 100th birthday of the Spurlock Museum at the University of Illinois where the restored sculpture has been displayed for the last year.
This week the Abe Lincoln will be moved by university officials (not the Statue Liberation Society as in 1979 – CLICK HERE). After March 1st the bust will be set into place in the refurbished Lincoln Hall.
Only three days remain to see the restored statue of Abraham Lincoln in-the-round, the way Hermon MacNeil sculpted it.
MacNeil’s Abe Lincoln bust of the clean-shaven Illinois lawyer, senator and orator has become a beloved icon of Campus history. The MacNeil work of Lincoln will continue to greet students, visitors and staff from central prominence in the spiral stairway. It gives dramatic focus to the Main Entrance of the Hall named for this favorite son.
The relocation will add the ‘crowning’ touch to the Main Lobby. Once again, MacNeil’s ‘Lawyer Lincoln’ will look out from his perch in the circular stairwell.
In traveling through Champaign-Urbana, the Spurlock Museum was open last Saturday. I made some poor-quality video of the statue in its 360 degree perspective and viewed again the MacNeil signature and ‘Roman Bronze Works’ marking on the rear of the piece.
MacNeil’s Lincoln, unlike most sculptures of him, is the ‘Lawyer Lincoln.’ Mr. Lincoln’s thirty-years in Illinois were the formative experiences that prepared him to be the statesman and leader of world-renown that he became as U.S. President during the preservation of the Union. (See the Feb 12th posting below)