Archive for “Beaux-Arts”
Sculptures that Hermon A. MacNeil’s exhibited for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
The above works that Hermon A. MacNeil’s exhibited in Buffalo for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition are listed in:
“The Catalogue of the Exhibition of Fine Arts.” Pan-American Exposition: Buffalo, 1901. (p. 45-46; p. 59).
pp. 45-4. H. A. MacNeil:
#1613. The Sun Vow – Silver Medal, Paris Exposition, 1900.
#1614. The Moqui Runner – Silver Medal, Paris Exposition, 1900 (Lent by E. E. Ayer, Esq)
#1615. Bust — Agnese
#1616. Bust – [Lent by C. F. Browne, Esq.]
MacNeil, H. A., 145 West 55th Street, New York, N. Y. (II*) 1613-1616
*II – indicates MacNeil exhibited in “Group II – Sculpture, including medals and cameos” p. 49.
Some of these people mentioned in that exhibition record were to be long term colleagues, friends and patrons of MacNeil’s art and career.
Charles Francis Browne was a painter and friend who accompanied Hermon MacNeil and author, Hamlin Garland, to the southwest in the summer of 1895. They wanted to gain direct experience of American Indians to inform their art. What the trio found reflected in their respective painting, sculpture and writing.
MacNeil’s subsequent sculptures of Native Americans after that summer of 1895 continued a cultural focus that began with his friendship and sculpting of Black Pipe, the Sioux warrior. He first met Black Pipe at the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The Sioux modeled for MacNeil and later worked in his studio for over a year.
Edward Everett Ayers was an art patron to both MacNeil and Browne. He had been a Civil War Calvary officer stationed in the southwestern United States. He became a lumberman who made a fortune selling railroad ties and telephone poles. He urged MacNeil to travel to see the vanishing West of the American Indian. He became an arts benefactor whose art collections are now housed by the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as, the Newberry Library.
All the above is but a small part of the history woven into this simple Exhibition catalogue entry from 1901. More later on Macneil’s mysterious “Agnese.”
“ONE COUNTRY, ONE CONSTITUTION, ONE DESTINY”
This Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument was dedicated in 1927. The Monument consists of two 60 foot granite pylons. These pillars mark the entrance to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This beautiful boulevard leads from Logan Circle through the rolling Parkway Gardens on up the hill to the Philadelphia Art Museums.
- Find the Soldiers panel and Civil War history HERE.
- The Soldiers pylon is pictured below =>
- CLICK HERE for the Ben Franklin Parkway view.
- For DIRECTIONS to this Monument see the Google Map below.
We hope to have our own photos to post at a future date.
Meanwhile, thanks to the citizens and public officials of Philly for this tribute to American history and the work of Hermon Atkins MacNeil.
Happy Birthday Rachel!
Between 1893 and 1905 Hermon Atkins MacNeil and his sculptures were involved in four World’s Fairs. The Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York (1901) was the second of these events. Popularly known as the 1901 World’s Fair in Buffalo NY, over 8 Million people attended the exhibition.
University of Deleware ~ Special Collections website offers this description;
The most unusual aspect of the Pan-American was the color scheme of its buildings. Unlike the pristine design of the “White City,” the architectural plan of the Pan-American was to build a “Rainbow City.” The buildings were done in a Spanish Renaissance style and were colored in hues of red, blue, green, and gold. The Electric Tower, the focal point of the fair, was colored deep green with details of cream white, blue, and gold. At night, thousands of electric lights outlined the buildings.
In the year 1900, MacNeil returned to the United States after three years in Rome and a fourth back in Paris. He settled in New York City. Within a year, MacNeil set up a home and an adjoining studio in College Point, Long Island (now Flushing, Queens ). His studio became his work place for the next four decades.
MacNeil’s “Sun Vow” and the “Moqui Runner” were both exhibited at the 1901 Fair. The “Sun Vow” had received a silver medal at the Paris exhibition of 1900. It was exhibited again at the Columbian Exposition of 1904 — the Saint Louis World’s Fair. As the years passed, it would become his best known work. (Webmaster’s Note: It recently graced the cover of the 2010 Denver Art Museum publication, “Shaping the West: American Sculptors of the 19th Century”)
At the Buffalo Exhibition he was asked to do the pediment sculptures for the Anthropological Building, as well as a grouping known as “Despotic Age.” Craven described the work as follows:
The spirit of despotism with ruthless cruelty spreads her wings over the people of the Despotic Age, crushing them with the burden of war and conquest and draging along the victims of rapine (plunder), a half savage figure sounds a spiral horn in a spirit of wild emotion. (Craven, SIA, p. 518)
MacNeil designed the official gold medal (displayed here in silver) struck in celebration of the Pan American Exhibition. His commissioned design bears a youthful woman standing beside a buffalo on the obverse side. She represents the triumph of the intellect over physical power. The reverse depicts two Indians with a sharing a peace pipe. One, a North American Indian, extends the extends the pipe to the South American Indian. Craven notes that
MacNeil chose to portray the theme of “Pan-American friendship through images of the red man, not the white man.” (Craven, SIA, P. 519). We can also observe that this choice extended MacNeil’s selection of native people into a second continent. [Photo credits CCya at http://www.coincommunity.com/forum/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID=25738]
President William McKinley was assassinated at the fair. On Sept. 6, 1901, Leon Czolgosz shot President McKinley in the Temple of Music, a pavilion of the Buffalo, New York, Pan-American Exposition. Eight days later, on Sept. 14, McKinley was dead. We do not know if MacNeil was present at the Fair when the President was attacked. In some sense, President McKinley’s overshadowed the rest of the Exposition. Buffalo promoted the event in order to be seen as a prosperous, modern, technologically-advanced city,. Instead Buffalo became seen as the city of the assassination.
In the years following The Buffalo Exhibition, a series of important commissions would raise him to prominence as a major American sculptor. One of those was, oddly enough, was the McKinley Monument Statue and Plaza at the front of the Ohio State Capitol Building where McKinley served two terms as the governor of the state.
The only remaining building of the fair is the New York State Pavilion. It is now the home of the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. (see map) A boulder marking the site of McKinley’s assassination was placed in a grassy median on Fordham Drive
1901 Pan-American Exposition links: (active as of this posting date)
- Buffalo History – Black Faces at the Pan American Exposition of 1901, Buffalo, New York Pan American Exposition of 1901, Buffalo, New York – with Map
- Illuminations Revisiting the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition of 1901 – Costs of the Pan-American Exposition Compared to other International Exhibitions
- Pan-American Exposition – Buffalo 1901 Souvenir Textile
- The Pan American Exposition — Buffalo in 1901
- Pan Am World Fair Buffalo
- Schiller Institute- President Wm. McKinley- Assasinated 1901
- The Last Speech of William McKinley
When Hermon MacNeil returned to the United States from Paris he did not return to Cornell but chose to settle in Chicago instead. The reason was the Chicago World’s Fair was in planning.
The decision also allowed him to work with Philip Martiny (1858-1927) in the preparation of sketch models for the World’s Columbian Exposition. MacNeil’s decision gave him opportunity to work with Martiny and to make several statues for the Electricity Building. It also exposed him to the oversight and supervision of Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
The Chicago World’s Fair celebrated the 400 Anniversary of the voyage of Christopher Columbus to the New World and was officially known as the Columbian Exposition. Hundreds of buildings and dozens of architectural Palaces of Art, Transportation, US Government Building, Horticulture, Fisheries, and the Electricity Building were created for the event. The temporary sculptures were decorated with allegorical figures, cherubs, and statues that numbered in the thousands. They accompanied fountains, waterways, plazas, and acres of unimaginable features that became known as The White City.
The sculptures, which were carried out in staff, a weather-resistant plaster, were destroyed with the exhibition buildings, but the successful effect they produced led to further similar commissions at the Pan-American Exposition, [[Buffalo, New York (1901) and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St Louis, (1904). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Martiny
This secession of World's Fairs celebrated the dawn of a 20th Century of Progress, as well as, an emerging image of the United States as the world's foremost nation of progress, the inheritor of the cultural images and art of the European World. An emerging national identity, pride, and arrogance are all visible in the history of these endeavors. The video links at the end of this post capture these and other aspects of the magical extravagance and promotion of these global endeavors.
It is difficult in our day to get a feel for what these Expositions were. They were comparable to a new Disneyland being built every three or four years. Incidentally, Walt Disney's father, Elias Disney worked in construction for the Chicago Fair. Some evidence exists that these fairs inspired Disney:
He was a construction worker for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, an event which author Erik Larson cites as a source of inspiration for his son Walt and the Disney kingdom he would eventually create. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elias_Disney)
The links to videos below give additional perspective of the detail and scope of these Expositions. Take time to enjoy these modern reviews of this gilded time.
MacNeil would win the Rinehart scholarship, passing three years (1896-1899) in Rome and eventually spend another year in Paris.
List of World's Fairs: Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world%27s_fairs#1890s
Video Links on Chicago World's Fair ~ Columbian Exposition
- Brief overview The White City. (1:17)
- 1893 Chicago World\'s Fair (Columbian Exposition) Documentary (9:13) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBpBl1Nqjyc&NR=1
- Expo: Magic of the White City Magic of the White City Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEi3S1HRRoA&NR=1
- The World's Columbian Exposition – architectural animation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3izaIpXcBU4&feature=related
- Composite panorama photo: http://newsburglar.com/2008/10/17/one-last-chicago-expo-photo/
- Today is the 145th Anniversary of Hermon MacNeil’s birth.
- The above celebrates his life from the Everett, Massachusetts city website.
February 22, 1732
Pictured below is Hermon A. MacNeil’s sculpture of General Washington in the uniform of the General in Chief of the Continental Army placed on the easterly pedestal base of the memorial Arch on May 27, 1916.
The first Washington Arch was constructed to commemorate the centenary of George Washington’s inauguration as the first President of the United States. That Memorial Arch was a temporary structure meant only for the celebration in 1889.
“The first arch was made of wood, designed by Stanford White, great architect of the age of opulence. It was originally constructed for the Centennial of Washington’s Inauguration. The celebration took place on April 30, 1889. Festooned with papier mache wreaths and garlands of flowers, lit up with hundreds of newly invented incandescent lights, the whole thing cost a whopping $2700. The arch was the hit of the ceremonies. Two days later the Marble and final version was commissioned. White also designed that. By April of 1892 the last block was in place, though the arch wasn’t dedicated until May 4, 1895!”
“Washington’s likenesses were not added until 1916 when the east pier’s “Washington at War” by Herman MacNeil was unveiled. Two years later the west pier’s “Washington at peace” by A. Stirling Calder was dedicated. Both have suffered erosion during the age of the automobile and the formerly fine features of Washington are pitted and broken down so, he is no longer really recognizable. Perhaps it’s time to redo them in bronze. For the next century. Why not?”
Stanford White, of the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White, (click name to see their work) was one of the first to be associated with the City Beautiful and the Beaux Arts movements dedicated to cleaning up American cities and planning them with order and artistic beauty. The Arch stands at the end of Waverly Place and Fifth Avenue. The neighborhood was lined with mansions of the wealthy in the gilded age before World War I.
“The Gilded Age was a time of pomp and peace and prosperity. Never before were the gaps between the rich and poor so sharply divided as they were in those quiet years before The Great War of 1917. Without personal income tax to curtail immense fortunes in America’s burgeoning industries, millionaires flourished and paraded their wealth for all the world to see. The magnificent mansions of John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie stand like faded peacocks along New York’s Fifth Avenue to this day, bearing silent tribute to a luxurious past long faded into time.”
Marjorie Dorfman at http://www.nyc-architecture.com/ARCH/ARCH-McKimMeadandWhite.htm
According to the Daily Planet, Washington Square ARCH is one of the great place to celebrate Washington’s Birthday:
George Washington Sculptures at Washington Square Arch, Washington Square Park
Designed by architect Stanford White, the Arch was dedicated in 1895. Washington as Commander-in-Chief, Accompanied by Fame and Valor was designed by Hermon Atkins MacNeil and was installed in 1916. Washington as President, Accompanied by Wisdom and Justice was designed by Alexander Stirling Calder and installed in 1918. A major restoration of the arch was completed in December 2004. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/M090/news