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!

Apr
21

1931 Society of Medalists ~ “Hopi – Prayer for Rain”

By

1931 Society of Medalists #3 ~ Moqui Runner and Hopi Rain Dance (reverse) ~ exhibitor: Chrysler Museum - Norfork, VA

1931 "Moqui Rain Dance" (reverse) SOM #3  ~ Dan Leininger, webmaster

1931 "Moqui Rain Dance" (reverse) SOM #3 ~ exhibitor: Daniel Neil Leininger, webmaster

Here are two examples of Hermon A. Mac Neil’s 1931 Society of Medalists (SOM) Issue #3 entitled “Prayer for Rain” and “Hopi” on the reverse.  These show two of the 4 varied patinas that MacNeil chose for the issue. (Thanks to Gilbert Shell for sharing these sources & interesting me in this MacNeil – SOM Issue #3)

The medals are slightly oval in shape. The Obverse, shown here in a striking orange patina, can be seen in the Chrysler Museum of Norfork, Virginia.  In his design Hermon MacNeil, has recaptured his 1895 image of the Moqui Runner. The title, PRAYER FOR RAIN,  portrays a group of young Hopis sprinting to the right; their hands filled with snakes. The Reverse side, shown in beautiful sea green patina, bears the title, “HOPI,” a more modern transliteration of “Moqui”.  It shows a group of Hopi Indian dancers handling ritualistic snakes.  It is owned by our webmaster.

In a 2005 article, David T Alexander, a widely published numismatic writer, described 4 different applied patinas that were offered for the 1,713 medals released in this issue. Here is an excerpt of Alexander’s article: (NOTE: In his comments, the usual ‘reverse’ and ‘obverse’ for this medal has been switched by this author.)

1931 #3. HERMON MacNEILL. Hopi Indian Prayer for Rain.
Obv Five Hopi rain dancers, two with snakes in their mouths, one crouching to gather up snakes for return to the cottonwood enclosure set up for the ceremony. Two other dancers distract mouth-held snakes with eagle feathers. MacNeil’s sky is adapted from Hopi sand painting showing stylized rain clouds and serpentine arrows of falling rain.
Incuse HOPI in exergue. Signature H A MACNEIL incuse lower r.
Rev Dancers race from mesa onto the desert, hands full of snakes to be returned to their dens. Lightning flashes above, incuse PRAYER (vertical) FOR RAIN in exergue.

MacNeil, best known to coin collectors for his Standing Liberty Quarter of 1916-1930, wrote, “The two incidents of the Hopi Prayer for Rain on the mesas of northeastern Arizona depicted on this medal are chosen by your sculptor because of the extraordinary vital enthusiasm and power that the Indians throw into this ceremony.  Having witnessed it and been thrilled by the intensity of their emotion and on further study by the complicated and perfectly natural development of this drama, I cannot help feel that in it we find a basic note underlying all religions. All these Southwest Indians, living as they do in an arid region, have developed their religion along the lines of their greatest need – water.”

MacNeil described the setting as the Kiva, An underground chamber. Members of the Snake and Antelope clans gathered snakes for six days from the compass points, above and below, “therefore from all the directions of the universe.” Poisonous snakes are included in the dance, distracted from the dancers holding them in their mouths by another dancer wielding an eagle feather. The artist witnessed several snakebites, which had no apparent effect on the exalted, fasting dancers.

MacNeil theorized that the wriggling serpent forms suggested the shape of lightning “snaking” earthward from the clouds, as seen in the sand art above. At the end of the prayer dance, the Indian raced out onto the desert, hands filled with snakes to be released into their dens as a rain cloud forms overhead.  This is SOM’s first non-circular medal, showing a boldly ovoid shape. At least four distinctive patinas have been 16 observed on examples of the Hopi medal,
described below.
EDGE AND PATINA VARIETIES OBSERVED:
1. THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS THIRD ISSUE. Rounded rims. Light tan, sea green highlights. A.
2. Ditto. Light tan with hints of gold. A.
3. Ditto. Intense glossy hematite red. A.
4. Ditto. Bold sea-green, sharply squared rims. A.

Source:

  1. David T. Alexander, “The Art Medal Defined” in The Medal Collectors of America Advisory, Volume 8, Number 5, May 2005, pp. 10-12.  (Thanks to Gilbert Shell for sharing this source and his interest in this SOM Issue #3)
  2. For more on SOM see: Samuel Pennington, “The Society of Medalists”

 

Comments

  1. webmaster says:

    William,
    A selection of these SOM #3 images may be seen about half way down in this posting:

    https://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/2012/02/12/the-five-medal-makers-som-series/

    Enjoy,
    Dan Neil Leininger
    Webmaster

  2. webmaster says:

    Wm. E. Channing,
    This MacNeil medal is the SOM #3 issue of 1931.
    They commonly bring between $100 and $200 dollars at auction depending on condition.
    What patina is the finish?
    Dan Leininger

  3. I own a Hopi-Prayer for Rain Medallion, any idea of it’s value?
    WE Channing

  4. I won a Hopi-Prayer for Rain medallion, any idea of what value it might have.
    William Channing

Leave a Reply

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
Hosting & Tech Support: Leiturgia Communications, Inc.
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