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!

Feb
13

Happy Birthday Mr. Washington! ~ Part TWO ~ MacNeil Month #6 ~ The President Who would NOT be King.

By

NOTE: February 22nd marks the 279th Birthday of George Washington.
February 27th is the 145th Birthday of Hermon A. MacNeil.
The Arch in Washington Square Park, NYC, contains TWO separate statues of Washington

 

 

[Continued from the February 12th posting:]

While Washington "Refused to Be King" many personal factors as
well as the expectations of the people were put upon him.

1) As a large man with great physical bearing, he was an embodiment of authority all his life.

2) At 6′ 4″ and slightly over 200 lbs, he was a full head taller contemporaries.

3) Washington was not a handsome man but when he set in motion, his full package conveyed a sheer majesty.  Benjamin Rush observed, “He has so much martial dignity in his deportment that there is not a king in Europe but would look like a valet de chambre by his side.

4) As a fledgling nation that had only known “ROYALTY” prior to independence.  So any leader who looked royal was eligible, so to speak, for coronation.

5) “John Adams claimed that the reason Washington was invariably selected to lead every national effort was that he was always the tallest man in the room.” (Ellis, p. 124)


6) It did not help that he often portrayed a royal style of dress, designed his own uniforms and had them tailor-made to fit his striking frame.
7) As one of his biographers put it, “his body did not just occupy space, it seemed to organize space around it.“ (Ellis, p. 124)

Given all the above, Ellis adds the 'crowning' observation:  
He had no compunction about driving around Philadelphia in
an ornate carriage drawn by six cream-colored horses; or, when
on horseback, riding a white stallion with a leopard cloth and
gold trimmed saddle; or accepting laurel crowns at  public
celebrations that resembled coronations. (Ellis, p. 127)
No wonder the majestic man became regarded as 
"His Majesty."

The TWO Washington Statues
MacNeil's sculpture of Washington as "Soldier" was the
first of the two done in stone.  It was intended to set off the
companion piece of Washington as President, by Alexander
Stirling  Calder on the supporting walls of the Washington
Arch, on Fifth Avenue, New York.
One shows “The President,” and the other” “The Soldier.”  

MacNeil told McSpadden in 1924:
"We had to work together on those statues, Calder and I," said
Mr. MacNeil, "and we had some hot arguments over them,
though we are good friends.  Of course, each of us had his own
statue to do, but we had to treat them in the same restrained
manner, to fit each other and the Arch itself."

In order to fit the the Arch's 77 foot stature, MacNeil's
Washington was sculpted twice life-size.  So while 6 foot
4 inches in life, in MacNeil's hands,Washington became 
12 foot and 8 inches tall.  Despite this size the greater
massiveness of the Arch almost  dwarfs the figures.  In a
similar manner, the revolution and the resulting
republic appear to dwarf any ONE person or group
of Founders.  Perhaps that is the essence of the
heritage of the United States of America as a
republic.   A heritage recaptured by the immortal words
of another President, Mr. Abe Lincoln (also born in
this month) as he closed his comments over the grave sites at Gettysburg.

The statue and plinth dwarf the man below.


                                    "that government of the people,
                                                  by the people, for the people, 
                                                             shall not perish from the earth."


After Washington finished his second four year term as
President, he stepped down. He returned to his beloved Mount
Vernon Estate.  He lived only three more years and died in 1799
in the third year of the Presidency of John Adams. 

Yes, "we have a republic, if we can keep it."
And the man who could have been King, chose instead, to be a
Citizen.
First a citizen-soldier and then a citizen-President.  And so it
has been ever since. 

Presidents Day, the rule of law and the TWO 
twelve-foot eight-inch statues of Washington by 
Hermon Atkins MacNeil and Alexander Stirling
Calder remind us of that heritage.  

As well as the absence of any likeness of anything or
anyone resembling:      
       "KING GEORGE WASHINGTON IV"

For Mr. Washington was:   "A Man Who Refused to BE KING!"


The Arch when traffic was still allowed in the Square.
For further Reading and research see:
  1. Kurt Soller, Newsweek, “The Man who Would Be King” Oct. 8, 2008 (click on title for link)
  2. Joseph J. Ellis, Founding Brothers, Knopf: NY, 2001.  p. 120-161 (especially 124-127).
  3. http://www.newsweek.com/2008/10/07/the-man-who-would-be-king.html

Related Posts on this website:

  1. https://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/2010/05/11/new-york-washington-square-arch/
  2. https://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/2010/09/26/washington-square-nyc/
Video: 
    Here's an informative video on the nature of the
    American "republic." While a bit harsh on its
    characterization of 'democracy," it is well
    worth watching.
  • TITLE: "A Republic if you can keep it."  
  • LINK:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGL8CiUtXF0
  • Comments on this video include: Uploader Comments (aliunde)
  • “Entertaining video, but this is a gross misrepresentation. The author doesn’t note, for example, that the U.S. Constitution replaced the catastrophic “limited government” under the Articles of Confederation, and that a desire to tax Americans directly & regulate interstate commerce were the two chief motivations behind the U.S. Constitution. The size & role of a government is not the issue; it is a government’s internal structure – its checks & balances – which are the key to its success. AboveAllNations 7 months ago”

  • @AboveAllNations: The Constitution was one of strictly limited and enumerated powers. You need but read The Federalist Papers (authored by Madison, Jay, and Hamilton) to secure passage of the Constitution by the respective states) to understand that.  A quick quote: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” –James Madison, Federalist No. 45    –  aliunde 7 months ago 7

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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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COME BACK & WATCH US GROW

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