WELCOME to the “Hermon A. MacNeil” — Virtual Gallery & Museum !

~ This Gallery celebrates Hermon Atkins MacNeil, American sculptor of the Beaux Arts School. MacNeil led a generation of sculptors in capturing many fading Native American images and American history in the realism of this classic style.

~ World’s Fairs, statues, public monuments, coins, and buildings across to country. Hot-links (on the lower right) lead to photos & info of works by MacNeil.

~ Hundreds of stories and photos posted here form this virtual MacNeil Gallery of works all across the U.S.A.  New York to New Mexico — Oregon to South Carolina.

~ 2016 marked the 150th Anniversary of Hermon MacNeil’s birth on February 27,

Take a Virtual Journey

This website seeks to transport you through miles and years with a few quick clicks of a mouse or keyboard or finger swipes on an iPad.

Perhaps you walk or drive by one of MacNeil's many sculptures daily. Here you can gain awareness of this artist and his works.

For over one hundred years his sculptures have graced our parks, boulevards, and parkways; buildings, memorials, and gardens; campuses, capitols, and civic centers; museums, coinage, and private collections.

Maybe there are some near you!

May
29

Tortoise and Hare taken to Supreme Court

By

Hermon MacNeil has taken the Tortoise and the Hare to the Supreme Court.

There is a rabbit and a turtle at the Supreme Court! No this is not some legal joke.  Not an insult of the U.S. Justice system. This is a concrete truth. Actually, it is a truth in marble.  Not only did he take this ‘Fabled pair’ all the way to the Supreme Court, he left them there. So, inconspicuously for the last 78 years the whimsy of Hermon Atkins MacNeil has been hidden in plain sight, high on the back side of the highest court of the land.  These two marble carvings represent the smallest pair of groupings in his work, “Justice the Guardian of Liberty” are nearly invisible in the corners below.

HARE ON LEFT<< East Pediment-Supreme Court Building - >>TORTOISE ON RIGHT

MacNeil's 'Hare' springs from the south corner of his east pediment sculpture

MacNeil's 'Tortoise' on the north corner of sculpture

Like Aesop’s fable, perhaps the moral of MacNeil’s sculpture may be “Slow but steady wins the race.” Of course, the figurines offer MacNeil’s reference to Aesop’s Fable of the “The Hare and theTortoise.” A Hare one day ridiculed the short feet and slow pace of the Tortoise. The latter, laughing, said: “Though you be swift as the wind, I will beat you in a race.” The Hare, deeming her assertion to be simply impossible, assented to the proposal; and they agreed that the Fox should choose the course, and fix the goal. On the day appointed for the race they started together. The Tortoise never for a moment stopped, but went on with a slow but steady pace straight to the end of the course. The Hare, trusting to his native swiftness, cared little about the race, and lying down by the wayside, fell fast asleep. At last waking up, and moving as fast as he could, he saw the Tortoise had reached the goal, and was comfortably dozing after her fatigue. [George Fyler Townsend, Three Hundred Æesop’s Fables: Literally Translated from the Greek (London: George Routledge and Sons, 1867), pp. 19-20.] SeeWikipedia

Conceived in the early 1930’s after another economic crisis, MacNeil filled the sculpture with hundreds of serious allegorical references and illusions (more about these in later posts).   The figure of Confucius (to the left of the centered Moses) caused more public comment.

MacNeil worked with Cass Gilbert, the architect for the US Supreme Court Building project, who gave his artists interpretive license in designing their works.

Architect Cass Gilbert was charged by Chief Justice Taft to design “a building of dignity and importance suitable for its use as the permanent home of the Supreme Court of the United States.” (InfoPlease)

The complementary pediment on the east side of the building bears an inscription devised by Chief Justice Hughes: “Justice, the Guardian of Liberty.” In his frieze sculptor Herman A. MacNeil pays tribute to the civilizing effects of legal authority. A trio of ancient lawgivers—Moses, flanked by Confucius and Solon—occupies the center of the panel, which otherwise features allegorical figures intended to symbolize beneficent aspects of judicial dispute resolution. (Answers.com)

None of the thirteen figures on MacNeil’s east pediment grouping, however, are quite as gentle and amusing as the turtle and bunny that bracket the piece.

So, Thanks for the memories Uncle Hermon!  😉

The Supreme Court as it appeared in 1935 complete with vintage automobiles. The East Pediment was on the reverse side to these front steps. Behind MacNeil's East pediment sculptures is the office of the Chief Justice. Source: Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SupremeCourt-1935.jpg

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WHAT YOU FIND HERE.

Nearby or far away, there is no ONE place to go and appreciate this wide range of art pieces. Located in cities from east to west coast, found indoors and out, public and hidden, these creations point us toward the history and values in which our lives as Americans have taken root.

Webmaster: Daniel Neil Leininger ~ HAMacNeil@gmail.com
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WE DESIRE YOUR DIGITAL PHOTOS – Suggestions

1. Take digital photos of the entire work from several angles, including the surroundings.
2. Take close up photos of details that capture your imagination.
3. Look for MacNeil’s signature, often on bronze works. Photograph it too! See examples above.
4. Please, include a photo of yourself and/or those with you standing beside the work.
5. Add your comments or a blog of your adventure. It adds personal interest for viewers.
6. Send photos to HAMacNeil@gmail.com Contact me there with any questions. ~~ Webmaster