Archive for Sculptures
The “Confederate Defenders of Charleston” sculpture on Battery Point in Charleston Harbor was spray painted again on Friday, July 10th, 2015.
Police were called to White Point Gardens on a report of vandalism of the Confederate statue completed by MacNeil in 1932. The officers were met by a witness who told them he was seated on a bench 100 feet from the monument when he:
… noticed a white male jog by going east on Murray Blvd. from King Street towards East bay. A few moments later the witness noticed the same white male walking around the statue inside the railing surrounding the monument. The witness then heard a “hissing” sound and realized the man was spray painting the statue.
The suspect is described as a white male with pale skin and dark hair, possibly in his 20s to mid 30s, tall and slender. He was wearing a plain black t-shirt, black shorts, a plain black ball cap, and gold rimmed glasses.
The statue was painted with black spray paint. On the front of the statue it read, “THE CAUSE FOR WHICH THEY FOUGHT THE CAUSE OF SLAVERY WAS WRONG.” On the back it read, “TAKE DOWN THIS RACIST STATUE.” [ SOURCE: The Blaze ( http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/07/11/charleston-confederate-monument-vandalized-again-this-time-with-obama-quote/ ) ]
The new graffiti is from Obama’s eulogy of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, pastor of Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, one of nine people shot to death in the church last month.
“Removing the flag from this state’s capitol would not be an act of political correctness; it would not be an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers,” Obama said. “It would simply be an acknowledgment that the cause for which they fought — the cause of slavery — was wrong.”
Since the massacre at the historic black church, a national outcry erupted over the display of the Confederate flag and similar symbols. This week the Confederate flag at the South Carolina state capitol was taken down. [ SOURCE: The Blaze ( http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/07/11/charleston-confederate-monument-vandalized-again-this-time-with-obama-quote/ )]
Previously in June, the base of the same monument was covered with red spray-painted graffiti, declaring “Black Lives Matter” and “This is the root of our evil” on the east side.
- Confederate Defenders of Charleston -Part 2 (8)
- Confederate Defenders Statue – White Point Gardens & the Battery (8)
- MacNeil Statue will not attend Secession Gala (8)
Down the street from The Mother Emmanuel AME Church where nine members were massacred this week while worshiping God in prayer and Bible study stands the Confederate Defenders monument sculpted by Hermon MacNeil. The memorial was defaced with spray paint on Sunday.
Hermon A. MacNeil’s only Confederate monument stands on Battery Point on Charleston Harbor facing out to Fort Sumter 3 1/2 miles away where the first shots of the Civil War was fired . The monument was commissioned for this site in 1932 by The United Daughters of the Confederacy. It has stood for 83 years.
MacNeil’s design was chosen by a local monument committee over all other entries. The allegorical piece depicts the Youth of defenders and the Maternal figure of culture. The shield contains the Seal of the State of South Carolina (the first to succeed from the Union).
Succession Gala: For my own comments on a previous Confederate Celebration and remembrance see this post on this website: “MacNeil Statue will not attend Secession Gala” By (http://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/2010/12/12/macneil-statue-will-not-attend-secession-gala/)
It is unlike any other Civil War Monuments that Hermon MacNeil created. SEE the following links:
- Whitinsville, Massachusetts ( 1905 Monument to Soldiers & Sailors of the Civil War~ Whitinsville, Massachusetts );
- Albany, NY ( 1912 Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Albany,NY );
- Philadelphia Pennsylvania ( 1927 Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument ~ Philadelphia, PA );
A June 21st report by Melissa Boughton of The Post and Courrier gives the following details:
The damage was reported to police dispatchers just after 12:30 p.m. The statue was covered up by residents who wrapped a large tarp around it about 1:30 p.m.
Two signs were placed on the tarp after the graffiti was covered up. One said, “All lives matter #charlestonunited,” and the other said, “Take down racist statues.”
The incident occurred in the wake of the fatal shooting Wednesday of nine black people inside Emanuel AME Church in what police say was an attack by a white supremacist. The church held its first service since the shootings on Sunday.
The attack has led to a nationwide call for South Carolina to remove the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse grounds. At least 1,000 people gathered Saturday in Columbia to call for the flag to be taken down. Numerous petitions also call for the flag’s removal. ( http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150621/PC16/150629854/confederate-monument-a-focus-of-debate-after-graffiti-appears )
FOR MORE HISTORY on this work by HERMON MACNEIL see the following:
Hermon MacNeil’s “Chief of the Multnomah” was cast in full size and half size versions. This one was Discovered by a reader of this website several years ago in Vernon, New Jersey. Here was a brief note that was sent to the website:
I’ve been noticing a magnificent piece of the scultpture for the past few years, located in Vernon N.J. at the Minerals Spa and Resort. After closer examination I discovered it is Chief Multnomah with his arms crossed, standing on tip toes looking outward. “The coming of the white man” is the title usually ascribed to this work, but in this case the chief stands alone without his scout or assistant as pictured on your web-site. It is signed simply, H.A. Macneil S.C. 04. Just thought it was a variation of the piece that you might find interesting.I’m not really sure how long its been there, because I’m relatively new to the area. Being a sculptor myself and one that is particularly fond on the late 19th cent/early 20th cent period, with the likes of Rodin, Bayre, Dega, etc. Macneil certainly is a strong and salutory member of that period. Regards, D. Moldoff.
My response was as follows:
Dear D. L. Moldoff,
Thanks for noticing sculpture around you and sharing the information. The ‘Chief Multnomah’ is the larger Half of H. A. MacNeil’s “The Coming of the White Man.” (COTWM). While the COTWM piece is only at the Washington Park in Portland, OR, where it was commissioned for that city. The original plaster sculpture model is in the Poppenhusen Institute in Queens, NYC, just blocks from MacNeil’s studio.
(Click HERE ) for link to my archives of seven post on Chief of the Mulnomah.)
There are multiple castings of this single piece, the “Chief Multnomah”, possibly over 20 in total. I believe there are at lease two groupings of 12 casts and 9 casts of this statue. I have found information and location on three other ‘Multnomah’s. Plus there are many smaller (half-scale) casts of this sculpture.
These are the related entries for this story. For MORE see these previous posts:
Here at the HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com website we celebrate every February as
in honor of the birth of
Hermon Atkins MacNeil
February 27th, 1866.
This is the first of several postings that will celebrate this theme. Hermon’s older cousin, Tom Henry MacNeil (my grandfather), was born on February 29th, 1860. So February is MacNeil Month in several ways.
Here is a recent video of the Sun Vow to start off our month of celebration:
My recent post about our December 3rd journey on the CTA Blue Line train to the Chicago Loop and the Art Institute of Chicago ended with a discussion of “The Sun Vow” and my photo array taken in the Sculpture Court. [Searching for Uncle Hermon in Chicago ~ “The Sun Vow” ]
Another MacNeil piece just steps away in the adjoining American Gallery provides a “preface” to the story of “The Sun Vow”.
Modeled in 1894 that earlier piece was called “Vow of Vengeance.” It shows one of MacNeil’s early studies in Native American depiction. It followed his exposure to the Chicago World Fair, his fascination with sketching the Indians in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and his modeling work with Black Pipe. (Black Pipe was a young Sioux who worked in Hermon’s studio and modeled for several pieces during 1893-94. He helped with physical labor in the studio as well. CLICK for MORE on Black Pipe and “Primitive Chant”)
Several pieces dated 1894 seemed to be early prototypes for later larger works and castings. The “Vow of Vengeance” appears to be one of the more prominent. I know of no other copies elsewhere.
A blog about the Art Institute observes some mingling of the identity of the two pieces:
The Vow of Vengeance -1894
By Hermon Atkins MacNeil.
What’s in a name?
Well, somehow I noticed a discrepancy in the name..
The Art Institute website calls it – The Vow of Vengeance 
But marker at the Art Institute has the name – The Sun Vow [Modeled-1898, Cast-1901]. http://theartinstituteofchicago.blogspot.com/2010_12_01_archive.html.
While the “Vow of Vengeance” and “The Sun Vow” contain similar elements, what they communicate seems quite different:
- TITLE: The two titles carry contrasting emotional messages. The first (Vow of Vengeance) conveys negative aggression and hostile feeling toward some enemy, while the second (Sun Vow) depicts a more positive rite of passage from boyhood to manhood within a setting of family and tribal affirmation.
- GROUPING: The boy and the Elder (Warrior, Chief) are grouped to convey different emotional tones in the two pieces. In “Vengeance,” the chief wears his war bonnet on his head. He is dressed to present tribal authority to the enemy. His face seems harsh and his posture stiff. The Boy strains his head high up into the air. Their grouping seems tense. In “Sun Vow” the two figures are closer and seem to be “more one.” The Chief has removed his bonnet so as to lean into the boy’s line of sight. The boy is also more grace-full. He looks to the arrow and the sun without straining. Both gaze in the seeming wonder and mystical pleasure of the physical rite.
1894 ~ Prototype Year:
In addition to the “Vow of Vengeance” we have found evidence of another prototype from 1894.
A previous posting tells James Dixon’s story of a MacNeil piece acquired by his Great-great grandmother, Edna Lord. The sculpture bears the title “Primitive Music” on its base. [ CLICK Here for more ]
Photos on that previous post suggest that Edna Lord’s “Primitive Indian Music” was an early prototype of the “Primitive Chant” (which was much more polished and finely surfaced)
It is also based on “Black Pipe”, the young Sioux Brave. MacNeil first saw Black Pipe at the Buffalo Bills Wild West Show and we know that he returned many times to study the Indians. Like MacNeil, I have return to this story of “Black Pipe”, the young Sioux Brave, numerous times, and perhaps, will return many more. ~~ DNL
Hermon MacNeil ~ After the World’s Columbian Exposition
The period after the end of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair was a lean, even dry time, financially for Hermon MacNeil. We do know that he continued to maintain a studio, sculpt models, teach at the Art Institute of Chicago, and associate with art colleagues and benefactors there. Yet, it seems a productive time of transition, expression, and experimentation for the as the young sculptor.
Traveling to the Art Museum, we walked out of the underground on Dearborn Street just a block south of the Marquette Building which is home to Hermon MacNeil’s 1895 sculptures of 4 bronze relief panels [Cick Here]. This commission marked his recognition and selection for the award of the Rinehart Roman Scholarship. This began 3 years in Rome and another in Paris for he and his young bride, Carol Brooks. The bronze reliefs stands today as an icon to Marquette and his life among the Native peoples. The building has been restored by the MacArthur Foundation and now houses their international headquarters.
Those works tell the story Father Marquette explorations to Native peoples of Illinois. MacNeil would return to Chicago and the Marquette themes three decades later as he sculpted the bronze grouping [CLICK HERE] of Pere Marquette, Louis Jolliete, and an Illinois Indian on Marshall Boulevard. Commissioned by the Benjamin Franklin Ferguson Monument Fund, this sculpture has faced the greenway of the boulevard for 88 years.
On a cold December day we took the CTA Blue Line to Jackson street and walked out of the underground on Dearborn Street at the Federal Court Building. We were just a block south of the Marquette Building which is home to Hermon MacNeil’s 1895 sculptures of 4 bronze relief panels [Cick Here] that tell the story Father Marquette explorations to Native peoples of Illinois.
We walked past the Federal Courts, then turned east toward the Art Institute of Chicago.
There sculptor Edward Kemeys’ twin bronze Lions (Mr. Defiance and Mr. Prowl) greeted us at the entrance in their Holiday regalia. They have stood guard there since 1893 when Mrs. Henry Field commissioned them.
Above is “Mister ‘In-an-Attitude-of-Defiance’,” as he rests on a Christmas package that normally is his base. The mood was festive as sixty people smiled and waited on the steps (between Mr. Prowler and Mr. Defiance) until the Museum doors were opened at 10 am.
1) Prowler and Defiance, 2)Mrs. Henry Field, and 3) Hermon MacNeil are all contemporaries of the 1893-95 era of the Chicago World’s Fair (Worlds Columbian Exposition).
Once inside we spent the morning admiring early art of Dutch and French collections. Eventually, we came opon a fovorite, Jules Adolphe Breton’s The Song of the Lark, (1884).
After some lunch in the modern art area, we went to find MacNeil’s “Sun Vow”. Here are my results.
While I could go on-and-on about this most famous of Uncle Hermon’s works, I will let my photographs speak for themselves. Enjoy!