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 ???

Jul
20

“Chief MANUELITO” ~~ How MacNeil’s 19th Century Statue was Restored for the 21st Century by EVERGREENE Architectural Arts!

By

 Hermon MacNeil’s “Chief Manuelito” has returned home. He has a completely restored look and frame. 

[CLICK Next arrows below >> to View 10 more Photos]

Manuelito-H3

Picture 2 of 10

MacNeil’s original 1895 Chief Manuelito as he rested above the doors of C.N. Cotton’s Trading Post in Gallup, New Mexico

During his 127 years of standing in Gallup, New Mexico, MacNeil’s 8’4″  cement constructed “Chief” was: 

Chief Manuelito of the Navajo (circa 2003)

  • Commissioned by trader, C. N. Cotton,
  • Sculpted under a tent cover in the desert,
  • Sculpted of cement,
  • Built around a wood and wire armature,
  • Wrapped in the colors of the Chief’s blanket,
  • Standing above the entrance of the trading post,
  • Weather-beaten,
  • Sun-baked,
  • Often repainted,  
  • Moved awkwardly,
  • Visited by Navajo Elders and young children,
  • Becoming an icon of the Navajo people,
  • Hidden from sale to a grocery conglomerate,
  • Stored in a warehouse by the Cotton family,
  • Donated to McKinley County, N.M. at age 115 years,
  • Approved for restoration with County funds,
  • Professionally restored by EVERGREENE Architectural Arts,
  • The new centerpiece of the Courthouse Annex,
  • Given a new century as an “Icon” on the people of Gallop, N.M. 

    Evergreene Arts employee patiently restoring Hermon MacNeil’s 1895 desert figure of Chief Manuelito.

    MacNeil’s “Chief Manuelito of the Navajo” as restored by McKinley County for new Courthouse Annex.

MacNeil sculpted a cement statue of Chief Manuelito for trader C. N. Cotton under a tent in the dessert. His subsequent sculptures of Native Americans after that summer of 1895 continued his cultural interest.  That fascination began with his friendship and sculpting of Black Pipe, the Sioux warrior. He first met Black Pipe at the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.  The Sioux modeled for MacNeil and later worked in his studio for over a year before MacNeil’s trip with Garland.

AN AMAZING STORY OF RESTORATION:

EVERGREENE Architectural Arts of Brooklyn N.Y. is the enterprise that restored this piece.  Their story of this project with photos of the elements of the project are duplicated here from their website. 1


Chief Manuelito Sculpture

City Hall, Gallup, NM

Chief Manuelito served as an important Navajo leader in the mid-19th century against the encroachment of the U. S. Government. Kit Carson’s scorched earth campaign left many native people starving though until they were forced to turn themselves in. Throughout this period, Manuelito led attacks and remained among the last to surrender. He remained a popular leader, advocating for perseverance in the native culture and advancement through education. He is represented here by the artist Hermon Atkins MacNeil, who created several other notable sculptures of Native American subjects and themes.

The Chief Manuelito sculpture was created using wood, plaster, and paint. Past cleaning efforts had caused significant damage. Cracks in the gypsum and plaster layers were associated with the movement of the wooden armature. The sculpture had areas of loss, and areas of visible previous repairs.

We were contracted to perform the sculptures’s plaster and paint conservation treatment. After the condition assessment, paint samples were collected and investigated to develop the earliest color compositions, likely paint scheme, and pattern of the blanket. Treatment of the sculpture itself proceeded in three parts: structural stabilization and integration of new base and support components, consolidation and repair of deteriorated decorative plasterwork, and paint removal along with repainting where needed. We also provided guidance for the display of the sculpture, and a maintenance plan for its continued preservation.  SOURCE: EVERGREENE Architectural Arts


FOOTNOTES:

  1. Restorationhttps://evergreene.com/projects/chief-manuelito-sculpture/
  2. History of Manuelito, Navajo Chief.  Read more at: https://www.aaanativearts.com/manuelitio-navajo

Archive for October, 2011 posting on Manuelito’s return

GOOD NEWS !   SURPRISE ~ Hermon MacNeil’s Chief Manuelito is back!

Yesterday’s post about MacNeil and Manuelito generated considerable interest and news from Gallup, NM.

Carolyn Milligan saw our Native American Day story and responded:

“The restored Manuelito has been installed.  Early tomorrow I’ll see and visit him. There are a few details to conclude but I will send you images of the restoration. Manuelito[‘s]  dignity and presence have been skillfully restored. You will be pleased with the result.”   … Give me a few days to reply to you and to send you images of Manuelito installed in his new location. You will then have before and after images of Manuelito to include on your website.

Artist Julian Scott’s portrait of Manuelito‑ Chief of the Navajos  [Source: americangallery.wordpress.com]

In his seventy-five years of life, the Chief was driven, accused, abused, enraged, betrayed, wise, proud and a thousand other emotions that a leader might feel in a war of cultures.  All these experiences exacted a price from his life and energy.   

Harrison Lapahle’s website offers a brief history of Manuelito.  He describes the warrior’s closing years with a sorrow and painful candor that recalls the similar sorrow of his Navajo Nation. 

“He spent the last ten years of his life unhappy, certain that he had done the wrong thing by encouraging education, and by taking back all the livestock stolen by the young raiders of the tribe. Whisky was small comfort for his misery, but he drank it anyway. All around him his people still believed his words “Education is the ladder,” and they sent more and more of their children to school. They followed Manuelito even though he refused to lead them any longer.

A delegation of Navajo representatives who traveled to Washington, D.C., in 1874 to discuss the provisions of the 1868 treaty with President Ulysses S. Grant. The delegation consisted of (left to right, front row): Carnero Mucho, Mariano, Juanita (Manuelito’s wife), Manuelito, Manuelito Segundo, and Tiene-su-se Standing: “Wild” Hank Sharp (Anglo), Ganado Mucho, Barbas Hueros, Agent Arny, Kentucky Mountain Bill (Anglo), Cabra Negra, Cayatanita, Narbona Primero, and Jesus Arviso, interpreter.

He was a disheartened man, seventy-five years old in 1893, when he became very ill. Measles and then pneumonia brought the weakened old man to his deathbed.

In his fever, the years seemed to fade as he watched the sunlight play in small patches on the hogan wall. He saw the faces around him, his friends and family. He thought he heard Zarcillos Largos say, “Come, on the path of beauty you will restore your strength.” Manuelito closed his eyes in peace.

His death saddened many Navajos who had found strength in his strength. But his life had given his people a new trail to follow, and they walked it proudly, as Manuelito had walked.”  [ http://www.lapahie.com/manuelito.cfm ]

A wonderful surprise!  We await the return of the Chief to Gallup.

Seeing Chief Manuelito with his ‘dignity’ back, will prepare us all for the 21st Century.   

Uncle Hermon would smile.

 
 
 
NOTES:
  1. History of Manuelito, Navajo Chief.  Read more at: https://www.aaanativearts.com/manuelitio-navajo
  2. Navajo Chief Manuelito (1818–1893) was one of the principal war chiefs of the Diné people before, during and after the Long Walk Period. His name means Little Manuel in Spanish.
  3. As any Navajo, he was known by different names depending upon context. He was known as Ashkii Diyinii (Holy Boy), Dahaana Baadaané (Son-in-Law of Late Texan), Hastiin Chʼilhaajiní (“Black Weeds”) and as Nabááh Jiłtʼaa (War Chief, or Warrior Grabbed Enemy) to other Diné. After his first battle at age 17, he was given the name Hashkeh Naabaah, meaning Angry Warrior.
  4. Read more at: https://www.aaanativearts.com/manuelitio-navajo
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WHAT YOU FIND HERE.

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
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WE DESIRE YOUR DIGITAL PHOTOS – Suggestions

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.
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