Archive for July, 2013
At age 78 Hermon MacNeil wrote an autobiographical sketch in June 1943 from his home in College Point. A copy of it is in the MacNeil Papers at the Cornell Library Archives. My sister, Melba, found a copy in mother’s family files.
Only 13 typed pages in length, MacNeil’s Sketches provides brief reflections on his life and a listing of his sculptures. The list catalogues 42 pieces that he made in his nearly fifty years as a sculptor. One very brief entry says simply:
“D. L. Moody. Northfield University, Mass., 1920”
MacNeil’s mention of a sculpture of D. L. Moody was my first awareness that he had ever done such a piece.
Searching the internet I found TWO photos (one on the right and another larger one below). They both come from the Northfield Mount Hermon (Click HERE) website. The school is a merger of the two academies for poor and underprivileged children (one for girls and one for boys) that Moody founded in 1879 and 1881. A brief history of the school can be found on Wikipedia. [Click Here].
MORE below photo:
While I await confirmation from NMH, this undoubtedly appears to be the work referenced by Hermon in his autobiograhical sketches as a 78 year old man. While finding ‘undiscovered’ works by Hermon MacNeil over the last 3 years, has been one recurring delight of building this website, I never cease to be amazed when I find one. This particular discovery seems amazing for several reasons:
- Both of my Parents (Rev. Louis Lee Leininger, Sr. and Ollie McNeil Leininger) attended Moody Bible institute in Chicago in 1926-28.
- I never heard my parents ever mention this sculpture.
- If my mother knew of “Uncle Hermon’s” bust of Dr. Moody, she would have mentioned it , repeatedly!
- To my knowledge, my parents never visited in Massachusetts, never saw, or ever knew of this piece.
- This is a one of a kind piece. Thus hard to find in a private school. Not known to the general public.
- I have no information on how it was commissioned, or how Hermon MacNeil became connected with this project.
STAY TUNED ! There has got to be MORE. I will let you know as soon as I find it.
ENJOY these lovely close-ups from the NMH website!!!