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 300 of stories & 4,000 photos form this virtual MacNeil Gallery stretching east to west  New York to New Mexico ~ Oregon to S. Carolina.   ~ 2016 marked the 150th Anniversary of Hermon MacNeil’s birth. ~~Do you WALK or DRIVE by MacNeil sculptures DAILY!  ~ CHECK OUT Uncle Hermon’s works!     Daniel Neil Leininger, webmaster

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


Hermon MacNeil at the 1893 Columbian Exposition ~ ~ ~ THE CHICAGO YEARS ~ ~


CHICAGO YEARS:  Partners and Colleagues

When Hermon MacNeil came home to the United States from Paris, he did not return to Cornell.  He stopped in New York to consult with Augustus Saint Gaudens about finding work as a sculptor.  Saint Gaudens referred him to Philip Martiny, a former student and assistant, who was doing preliminary sketches for the Chicago Worlds Fair (World’s Columbian Exposition) to take place in that city in 1893.  

So MacNeil chose to settle in Chicago where this collosal World’s Fair was “being born.”  This decision proved momentous in many ways. In his ‘Chicago Years’ he met people who would remain professional colleagues and friends for the next four decades.   These included Frederick MacMonnies, Lorado Taft, his pupil, Carol Louise  Brooks (who MacNeil was to marry in 1895), Daniel Chester French, as well as architects Daniel Burnham, Stanford White, and Charles Follen McKim. The rest of MacNeil’s career would become a repeated succession of partnerships with these colleagues on projects, monuments, buildings, and memorials that were joint efforts of many Beaux Arts trained scupltors and architects associated with the American Academy in Rome.


Daily Program of Chicago World’s Fair for Wednesday, October 11, 1893. This sketch of the Electrical Building was part of the preliminary drawings of the “White City.” MacNeil made several statues on this building. [ SEE ACTUAL PHOTO BELOW ]

Administration Bldg. of the White City at the Columbian Exposition: http://members.cox.net/academia/cassatt8.html

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

A statue of Ben Franklin stood at the entrance of the Electricity Building which housed the Tower of Light, displays by Western Electric, General Electric, American Bell Telephone, Edison’s lasest phonographs and hundreds of other electrical exhibits from around the world.

Video Links on Chicago World’s Fair ~ Columbian Exposition

  1. Brief overview The White City. (1:17)
  2. 1893 Chicago World\’s Fair (Columbian Exposition) Documentary (9:13) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBpBl1Nqjyc&NR=1
  3. Expo: Magic of the White City Magic of the White City Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEi3S1HRRoA&NR=1
  4. The World’s Columbian Exposition – architectural animation:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3izaIpXcBU4&feature=related
  5. Composite panorama photo: http://newsburglar.com/2008/10/17/one-last-chicago-expo-photo/


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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
Hosting & Tech Support: Leiturgia Communications, Inc.           WATCH US GROW


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