Archive for Standing Liberty
- Today is the 145th Anniversary of Hermon MacNeil’s birth.
- The above celebrates his life from the Everett, Massachusetts city website.
Yesterday my order for the new MacNeil Commemorative came in the mail. Within 3 hours of the postman’s arrival, I had the print framed and displayed.
The actual print of Charles Daughtrey’s work is more imposing than any computer image can convey. The art piece is the seventh in Daughtrey’s series of coin designers.
I am very pleased with the piece.
Charles D. Daughtrey has released his beautiful commemorative of Hermon Atkins MacNeil. The art piece is the seventh in Daughtrey’s series of coin designers. In striking pencil sketch, he has depicted both the face of the young artist and his original Standing Liberty Quarter design. H. A. MacNeil was the designer of the Standing Liberty Quarter dollar minted from 1916 to 1930.
Daughtrey has combined his multiple talents as artist, photographer, and numismatic author in this gentle tribute. He portrays a younger MacNeil than is typically seen in likenesses of the sculptor. The effect is refreshing, crisp, and striking. While we have a definite bias here at hermonatkinsmacneil.com , this seventh offering in Daughtrey’s ‘Coin Designer Series’ seems to us to be the best of a fine succession of his tributes. We wish him well and ‘good health’ as he continues his work in the future.
Daughtrey has created 250 (11″ X 14″) prints available from his website. The works are signed and ready for shipping. In a recent email Daughtrey informed us, “I send them in a hard tube for the purchaser to have matted and framed to their liking.”
Charles specializes in copper coins and began sketching his Coin Designer Series of pencil sketches in 2005 when he need a suitable likeness of Victor David Brenner, the designer of the Lincoln Cent. This and all seven commemorative works are available for purchase at Charles Daughtrey’s art gallery (website #1 below).
Related links and posts available at the following sites:
1. Charles Daughtrey’s art gallery: http://www.cdaughtrey.com/
2. Copper Coins: http://www.coppercoins.com/
3. Lincoln Cent site: http://www.lincolncent.com/links.php
4. Archived posts fro SLQ on this website: http://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/category/coins-and-medals/
5. Jay Cline’s SLQ website: http://www.slqs.com/
6. SLQ archive on this site: http://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/category/coins-and-medals/
MacNeil’s “Pat and Jim” were recently remembered as a play place.
“We used to climb on them,” Cindy told me yesterday. Cindy explained how as a child she would climb up from the back “Jim” to sit on his shoulders. Her perch atop this eight foot tall bronze athlete must have delighted both the little girl and the 40-something woman who now walked across Sheridan Road to inform me of her childhood game.
At the time I was photographing “Jim,” more correctly, “Physical Development,” as MacNeil titled the piece in 1916.For the last 94 years, “Jim” has stood outside Patten Gym on the northern edge of the Northwestern University campus in Evanston, Illinois.
His nearly century long vigil has been shared by his partner piece, “Pat,” or more correctly, “Intellectual Development,” as the companion sculpture was named. For a previous story on these two works go to this “Patten Gym” posting.
As quickly as Cindy appeared, she quickly went on to her next destination. I wish I had gotten her full name and photo to post here. I have found no previous MacNeil enthusiasts who have successfully climbed one of his sculpture. I suppose children are more welcome than we adults.
While the abstract themes of “Physical and Intellectual Development” were what the campus designers envisioned and what Hermon A. MacNeil delivered in the “Beaux Arts,” style, the two classic Greco-Roman figures of athlete accomplishment and scholarly wisdom were soon to receive more manageable “nicknames.” As a previous post on this website suggests:
Northwestern students, however, have given them the ‘very punny’ nicknames of “Pat and Jim” or more colloquially, “Pat’nJim.” The similarity to “Patten Gym” is quite amusing. Such whimsy may have been known by MacNeil in his day. His choice of the ‘tortoise and the hare’ pair on the Supreme Court pediment document his own whimsy in stone. Let us all smile as well!
The Northwestern University website tells the story in this way:
In the building’s early years its entranceway was ornamented with pure gold plating, and in 1917 Patten commissioned artist Hermon MacNeil to design statuary appropriate to an atmosphere of athletic aspiration. MacNeil responded with bronze figures of a man and a woman. The statues have been known to generations of students by the fond nicknames of “Pat” and “Jim.” When in 1939 Northwestern planned the construction of the Technological Institute, it was clear that the Patten Gymnasium would have to be moved to accommodate the new engineering building. Subsequently a decision was made to demolish the structure and construct a new gymnasium, also to be named for James Patten. One of the most important events held in the building during its final year was the first NCAA basketball tournament, on March 27, 1939, where the University of Oregon Ducks beat the Ohio State Buckeyes by a score of 46-33.
The original Patten Gymnasium was razed on April 1, 1940. MacNeil’s statues were retained and today grace the entrance of the present Patten Gymnasium, dedicated during Homecoming on November 2, 1940.
The art was completed by Hermon A. MacNeil in 1916. These Northwestern commissions were completed in 1916, the same year as the minting of the first Standing Liberty Coin (click to see more).
It was a busy period in MacNeil’s career.
Ninety-four years after its first minting, the MacNeil “Standing Liberty quarter” retains a strong following among coin collectors. Tom LaMarre of Coins Magazine calls it MacNeil’s “real masterpiece.”
That says a lot coming from a coin expert like LaMarre. In a fascinating article at NumisMaster.com, he offers the usual numismatic history of the SLQ mixed with new information and delightful humor. The author has studied enough about MacNeil to mention about a dozen of his other works in the article including, “Sun Vow”, “Pony Express”, and “Ezra Cornell.” So, the “real masterpiece” compliment seems more than just another ‘two-bit’ comment. Some of LaMarre’s words which laud MacNeil’s Standing Liberty quarter include:
“Rich in symbolism and finely engraved detail, the new quarter reflected the spirit of peace and preparedness just before the United States entered World War I. It also revived a classical style in sharp contrast to the abstract and modern trends that were sweeping the art world at that time.”
LaMarre gives a thorough history of the design development, the changes, the controversies and the over-involvement of the Director of the Mint. A previous post on this website describes Jay H. Cline’s research book on the Standing Liberty Quarter includes nearly forty pages of letters between MacNeil and the Mint. LaMarre, finds this humorous quote on the over-involvement Mr Woolley in MacNeil’s project:
Mint Director Robert W. Woolley was so involved overseeing the preparation of the quarter design at the Mint that the Gettysburg Times predicted it would be known as the “Woolley quarter” or simply the “Woolley.”
The article offers some details of MacNeil history not seen before. He gives a discussion of the two women who served as models for the MacNeil’s art, namely Doris Doscher and Irene MacDowell. I had not known that Doris Doscher went public with her role in the SLQ on the TV show “I’ve Got A Secret” (or click HERE for second link).
Coin Collectors, especially SLQ fans and MacNeil enthusiasts alike, will enjoy Tom LaMarre’s article “MacNeil’s Standing Liberty Remains a Favorite.” It summarizes the importance of this art piece for collectors, it’s fascinating history, and MacNeil’s persistent creativity in developing the SLQ. LaMarre states:
The Standing Liberty quarter had a sculptural quality that set it apart from all previous quarter dollars. The Numismatist described it as “strikingly beautiful.” The New York Times called it a “silvern beauty.”
Coin collectors looking for more can graduate to Jay Cline’s book on Liberty Quarters. Cline’s book devotes Chapter 5 to telling the story of the two models that posed.
Either way the coin provides in interesting study in history, art and human nature. Treasury officials, namely Secretary William MacAdoo, had concerns about MacNeil’s delicate engraving not wearing as well in circulation as less artistic coin images of the past. But numismatists fine the delicate piece simply a treasure. Again LaMarre offers a good twist:
According to the Treasury secretary, it was a “fast-wearing” design that never quite worked out. In the opinion of collectors, it is a masterpiece that will stand in beauty forever.
J. H. Cline’s 45 year admiration of Hermon A. MacNeil’s Liberty Standing sculpture is documented in his carefully crafted volume “Standing Liberty Quarters.” The book tells the story of this Liberty Coin from the standpoint of the sculptor, the author and nearly a century of numismatic following. Mr. Cline offers his boyhood fascination (which seems to have never left him) in the first chapter in delightful narrative. Cline goes on to tell in the additional chapters of 2) the Smithsonian’s prized collection of MacNeil’s coin; 3) Hermon A. MacNeil — a brief bio of the artist with photos not seen elsewhere; 4) Government bureaucracy — the story and MacNeil’s correspondence (over 40 pages of actual letters included) with the Treasury and Mint officials concerning the ‘exposed’ breast and 100′s of other ‘details’; 5) the two models whose images were combined for the sculpture; 6) Errors in minted coins, 7) Connisseur section for serious collectors; 8) Year and Mintmark analysis, 9) Grading Criteria mostly developed by Cline over the years; 10) Value Analysis 1979-2006.
Definitive discussion from a lifetime perspective comes off the pages. We welcome the work of J. H Cline as an author, numismatist, and MacNeil enthusiast.
Here’s a link to J H Cline’s Book at his website: http://www.slqs.com/
And also at Amazon:
This last link goes to Mr. Cline’s business site, specializing in Liberty Standing Quarters.