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 ???

Archive for August, 2012

“Into the Unknown” by H. A. MacNeil ( white marble, 1912) became the ‘seal’ image for the National Sculpture Society. (Photo by Dan Leininger, webmaster: HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com

 Hermon A. MacNeil’s “Into the Unknown” at Brookgreen Gardens is framed by this ornamental iron gate designed by Anna Hyatt Vaughn Huntington, (who studied with MacNeil and Gutzon Borglum and other American sculptors).  MacNeil portrayed ‘the sculptor’ as a female figure, sheltered under the sweep of her wings, with her face turned into the block, holding a chisel in one hand and a mallet in the other, carving herself out of the stone. 

  Brookgreen Gardens was built on the Brookgreen Plantation at Murrells Inlet, South Carolina in 1930 by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington.  This 350 acre outdoor sculpture garden rests within a 9000 acre nature preserve. It provides a magnificent outdoor setting for an enduring ‘world premier’ of an American collection of 1200 unique sculpture pieces by over 400 sculptors. Coupling “Archibald Huntington’s interest in history and the classical world, with Anna Hyatt Huntington’s devotion to creatures and figures of the natural world,”  this marvellous collection gathers a vast array of American figurative sculptures of nature, human figures, and animals.  (Beatrice Gilman Proske, Brookgreen Gardens Sculpture.  SC: Brookgreen Gardens: 1968, p. 76).

MacNeil’s “Into the Unknown,” “symbolizing the mystery of artistic creation, was exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1912 under the title ‘Inspiration.’  

A design based on it was adopted as an emblem of the National Sculpture Society at the time of their 1923 exhibition. 

In 1948, a year after MacNeil’s death, the Huntingtons obtained the MacNeil piece for Brookgreen.  Today Anna’s ‘Ornamental Gate’ frames her mentor’s tribute to the Inspiration of the sculptor.  In May 2012, 100 years after MacNeil’s inspiration for this work, I had the privilege of visiting the Brookgreen Gardens and gathering this story and these images for the website collection.  His ageless work has now entered the digital age in this virtual gallery in his name.

[Photo credits: Taken on site by Dan Leininger, webmaster: HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com]

Hermon A. MacNeil’s plaster sculpture of “George Washington”made as his studio plaster model nearly a century ago.

Recognize this Patriot?

You can HELP HIM return to College Point. 

Here are a few clues:

  1. The piece you see here is less that 1/3 the size of the actual statue (pictured below).
  2. For the last 64 years it has been in storage at a museum over 800 miles from MacNeil’s studio in College Point, Queens, NYC where it originated.
  3. Along with a dozen and a half other plaster casts from MacNeil’s studio, this stately Commander left College point after the sculptor’s death.

If the Poppenhusen Institute and Susan Brustmann, the director, have their way, this “General Washington” may spend his 2nd century as a “permanent resident” of the community where Hermon MacNeil sculpted him.

“George Washington as Commander-in Chief” ~ A recent photo of this MacNeil work that has graced the Washington Arch in Greenwich Village for the last 96 years.

 A NEW HOME at the POPPENHUSEN INSTITUTE (MORE)  is being offered just blocks down the street from where MacNeil’s hands fashioned this commemorative piece.

Susan Brustmann, director of the Institute, informs us that discussions are underway to bring these MacNeil statues home. 

For 64 years they have been in the inventory and care of a midwestern museum that has decided to de-assession the pieces.  Seldom seen, never permanently exhibited, and soon to be de-assessioned, over a dozen others may return to College Point.

But your help is needed.



Stay tuned for updates.

Related posts:

  1. Poppenhusen Institute makes MacNeil Collection Appeal! (14.8)
  2. MacNeil Sculpture at Poppenhusen Institute (11.2)
  3. MacNeil Park – College Point, Queens, NY (17)
  4. MacNeil Postcard #3 ~ ‘From Chas. Aug 24, 1907′ (8.4)
  5. Confederate Defenders Statue – White Point Gardens & the Battery (8.6)



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