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

~ This Gallery celebrates Hermon Atkins MacNeil,  of the Beaux Arts School American classic sculptor of Native images and American history.  ~ World’s Fairs, statues, monuments, coins, and more… ~ Hot-links ( lower right) lead to works by Hermon A. MacNeil.   ~ Over 200 of stories & 2,000 photos form this virtual MacNeil Gallery stretching east to west  New York to New Mexico ~ Oregon to S. Carolina.   ~ 2021 marks the 155th Anniversary of Hermon MacNeil’s birth. ~~Do you WALK or DRIVE by MacNeil sculptures DAILY!   ~~ CHECK it OUT!

DO YOU walk by MacNeil Statues and NOT KNOW IT ???

Sep
26

Washington Square – NYC – Fiction and Reality

By

Hermon A. MacNeil’s sculpture of George Washington on the Arch in Washington Square, Greenwich Village, has become a fixture in the background of New York City. That is a reality.

I recently saw a glimpse of the Arch over Will Smith’s shoulder during a race scene from the 2007 film “I Am Legend.” Smith plays Robert Neville, a character based on the apocalyptic novel of the same name by Richard Matheson. Washington Square provides the setting for 100s of New York scenes in the cinema.  See forty popular examples HERE.

H. A. MacNeil's "Washington at War" framed by figures of "Fame" and "Valor" in the background balances the east side of the Arch in Washington Square while Alexander Stirling Calder's "Washington as President" graces the west side. Both sculptors studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the 1890's and represent that art style.

In the nearly 100 years since its installation, MacNeil’s marble depiction of George Washington as Commander of the Continental Army has undergone acclaim, abuse, neglect, appreciation, decay, and finally in 2004, restoration.   Fortunately, neither the statue or NYC have experienced the epidemic level of decay depicted in the disturbing “I am Legend” novel and film mentioned above.  That novel was fiction. Repair of both MacNeil’s Washington and Calder’s Washington were part of the Arch restoration proposal of NYC Dept of Parks and Recreation. That part is reality. Renovations to the entire Park are ongoing. Citizens groups like the Washington Square Association and Friends of Washington Square Park help to lead the way.

The original MacNeil piece was added to the Arch twenty years after its initial construction in 1892.  The artist accompanied his Washington with the allegorical figures of “Fame” and “Valor” in the background of the panel framing his work.  Alexander Stirling Calder added the figures of “Wisdom” and “Justice” to his Washington as President on the west leg of the arch.  Before the renovation LIFE magazine did a feature article on the weather-beaten figures.

Calder's "George Washington as President" as it appeared before restoration.

For a Video Tour and narration Greenwich Village, Washington Square, and the Arch with MacNeil’s Washington and the other sculptures (Calder, MacMonnies) see this MuseumPlanet site:  http://www.museumplanet.com/tour.php/nyc/wv/15

For another view of MacNeil’s Washington as Commander-in-chief and an amazing virtual tour of the Washington Square Park and Greenwich area check out WorldFlicks also.

While decay and apocalyptic fears abound in every generation, we can be thankful for the good people of NYC, their Department of Parks and Recreation, and Citizens groups like the Washington Square Association and Friends of Washington Square Park for maintaining the heritage and beauty our everyday history as US citizens.

Visit this MacNeil Statue in Washington Square, Greenwich Village, New York City.  Use the Google Map guide below for directions: —>

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WHAT YOU FIND HERE.

Here is ONE place to go to see sculpture of Hermon A. MacNeil & his students. Located in cities from east to west coast, found indoors and out, public and private, these creations point us toward the history and values that root Americans.

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

1. Take digital photos of the work from all angles, including setting.
2. Take close up photos of details that you like
3. Look for MacNeil’s signature. Photograph it too! See examples above.
4. Please, include a photo of you & others beside the work.
5. Tell your story of adventure. It adds personal interest.
6. Send photos to ~ Webmaster at: HAMacNeil@gmail.com