Archive for November, 2011
(Continued from Nov 10, 2011)
One of MacNeil’s “Chief of the Multnomah”, (which has seen a lot in American history since 1904, and even more since “The Coming of the White Man”) still stands guard silently over a once $25,000,000 estate in Easton, MD, known as Hidden Bridge Farm. The future of both the “Chief” and the Estate remain uncertain. The waterfront playground property is now locked in Chapter 7 bankruptcy being handled by Easton attorney, James Vidmar.
These photos show “A Chief of the Multnomah” as he overlooks the Choptank River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. This same MacNeil statue featured in the previous posting on Nov. 8, 2011 was once owned by John A. Porter.
A source has told us that the “Chief” was placed as the centerpiece on this 540-acre Estate by “John A. Porter.” Porter achieved front page fame as the former CEO of Worldcom before its colossal collapse in 2000-2. The scandal brought Worldcom into the news as the “Enron” of the tele-communication industry.
Daniela Deane, House Gossip for the Washington Post, described the situation in 2002 in this way:
Hidden Bridge Farm, a 540-acre spread with five houses on it, is for sale for $26.5 million — about $16.5 million more than any other property has sold for on the Eastern Shore. The farm sits on 1.5 miles of waterfront on the Choptank River, about 10 miles southwest of Easton.
Besides the 10,000-square-foot all-brick manor house, the property also has a waterfront farmhouse, a 3,000-square-foot guest house, a caretaker’s house, a guest cottage and two two-bedroom … Source: [ Daniela Deane. “House gossip; Eastern Shore Estate Asks a Record Price.” The Washington Post. Washingtonpost Newsweek Interactive. 2002. Retrieved November 08, 2011 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-325206 ]
Deane’s story details one of the holdings of John A. Porter who was worth over $500,000,000 in 1999. Now, however, he is broke. After loosing the Maryland property and “Chief Multnomah,” he has had to scale down to a 10,000 sq foot ocean-front mansion in Palm Beach. That little homestead retreat is worth much less than Hidden Bridge only about $17,000,000. Fortunately, Florida has a generous “Homestead Act”, known by locals as the “mansion loophole” act.
Some folks suggest that you might be able to “buy the farm” for possibly $14 Million, once it comes on the market. The “Chief “ may (or may not) be included in the selling price.
So, we may wonder, what might MacNeil’s two “Chiefs” say if they spoke to us 2011? If Multnomah and Manuelito could speak to the White Man after 150 years, what would they say?
- What might they tells us about men who think they “own the land?”
- What might they have seen of “human greed” from white men or red men and others?
- What might they know about “crooked treaties” or “cooked books?”
- How many ‘moons’ might it be before the next entry in the “Greatest-Corporate-Scandal-in-US- History Contest?”
- How many pension funds or villages will be raided and destroyed in the meantime?
WATCH ON, you CHIEFS!
For Further reading: other John A. Porter and Worldcom articles:
There is another “Chief of the Multnomah.”
Today I received four unsolicited photos in my website email. Three are posted below. The only message was the words, “I need help with this.”
I responded with “What help do you need with this?”
The one word answer came back, “Valuation.”
So, I asked for permission to post the photos on this website. I added that the photos:
“are excellent examples of public works of HA MacNeil that are not publicized in the art world. I was not aware of this public sculpture until your inquiry.”
My responses included:
1. An explanation that I am neither an art appraiser nor an art dealer. I also expressed curiosity as to where the statue was located in such a park-like setting.
2. I identified myself as the webmaster of HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com. I stated that I build and maintain this website to gather information on the sculpture and life of Hermon A. MacNeil. I stated that it has attracted people like the inquirer who wanted more information.
3. So I offered the following information: I recognize the piece in the photographs as “A Chief of the Multnomah.” The photo of MacNeil’s signature is very helpful. (See below). The ‘H.A. MacNeil, SC’ was his typical marking. “SC” was his abbreviation for ‘sculptor.’ The ’04’ would indicate a completion date of ‘1904’ for the sculpture. The 4/9 would suggest this is the 4th casting of 9 castings of this piece. There is probably a marking of RBW or “Roman Bronze Works” somewhere on the sculpture also. They were the foundry that MacNeil (and dozens of other American sculptors) used most extensively.
4. I passed along information of a recent estate auction in Queens, NY a where a “Chief of the Multnomah” statue was sold. While I do not have documentation, I remembered reading a sale price somewhere in the $35,000 range. I suggested that this other piece might be one the ‘nine’ cast with this 4th-of-9 castings. See section 7 below and the links there for a bit more on that Michael Halberian Estate Sale.
5. I told how MacNeil later combined ‘Chief Multnomah with a smaller accompanying figure of a native medicine man standing by the chief. That larger sculpture he called, “The Coming of the White Man.” It stands in Portland, Oregon in Washington Park. See my posting at:
6. I also told how the original plaster sculpture model of the “Coming of the White Man” was given by MacNeil to the Poppenhusen Institute in College Point, Queens, NYC, which is just up the street from the location of MacNeil’s studio and home (now destroyed). Here is more of the story on that:
7. I then offered more about that recent estate auction featuring “A Chief of the Multnomah” (which is the right-hand half of the “Coming of the White Man” pair.)
“Everything Must Go” was a feature story in the “Queens Chronicle” by Elizabeth Daley, editor (March 11, 2011). Michael Halberian lived in the former Steinway Family Mansion. It is uncertain whether the MacNeil sculpture was a Steinway heirloom that sold with the mansion or whether Mike discovered it in his appraisal work. (Some stories say he had is cast from the plaster original model.)
At that point I still had no idea where the statue was located.
Neither do you until next posting.
AND THAT IS THE BEST PART OF THE STORY.