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 ???

Feb
08

MacNeil Month 2022 ~ Week 2 ~

By

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Every February is MacNeil Month here,

 … at http://HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com …  Because:

  • Hermon Atkins MacNeil was born on February 27, 1866
  • Thomas Henry McNeil, (his cousin & my grandfather), was born February 29, 1860
  • Two US Presidents that Hermon sculpted had February Birthdays:

    • Abraham Lincoln on February 12, 1809
    • George Washington on February 22, 1732
    • SO we have made each February into our “MacNeil Month”

SO WELCOME TO “MacNeil Month 2022” ~ Our 12th since 2010

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“Sculptor Americanus”

citing Memories of

Hermon A. MacNeil

by Cecelia W. M. MacNeil

~ Part  2, The Antiques Journal, May 1974 ~

 

Cecelia MacNeil credits the following statement to Adolph Block:

“… all that Hermon Atkins MacNeil

lacks

to acquire fame

is a good biographer.”

Adolph Block  should know. He too was a sculptor.     (more)

He studied sculpture with Hermon MacNeil, and Alexander Stirling Calder, both of whom sculpted the two George Washington statues on the Arch.  He studied also with Edward McCartan, another student and studio assistant of Hermon MacNeil.  At the time that Cecelia credits the above quote, Mr. Block was then the editor of The National Sculpture Review, a post he held for many years.

Jo Davidson’s portrait bust of Hermon draped in MacNeil Tartan. This unique piece was made in 1945 at Hermon’s home then cast in bronze.

Block also wrote of Hermon — words that Cecelia quotes saying: “Adolph Block captured Hermon’s spirit in The National Sculpture Review, writing of him with love (a consistent feeling of all who knew Hermon):

“His youth was spent on his father’s farm in fundamental, frugal, and beautiful New England.  In his veins flowed the same kind of blood that pumped through the hearts of  Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott, love of life and a vivid imagination born of Scotland’s bonnie brooks, green hills, and rugged rocky shores.

Handsome, he possessed a warm heart, a dry sense of humor, a great talent, the courage of his convictions, and tremendous drive.  Ambitious and industrious, his large eyes were a tornado of activity — he studied, he taught, he created, in whatever order opportunity presented itself. 2

In the second of these articles, Cecelia begins by describing the June day in 1943 when Hermon began dictating his AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH to his secretary.

“My memories and reminiscences of Hermon are still pure and unprecipitated (sic) by chemicals, as his sculptures have become.”  She adds: “I was nursing him through a prolonged attack of tachycardia.  He was feeling much better and was in a jovial mood.”  Cecelia MacNeil, June 1971; (AJ-2, p.28)

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Cecelia Weick Muench, R.N.

Home Care Nurse

Years before Cecelia W. Muench became Cecelia MacNeil she was the Home Care Nurse not only for Carol Brooks MacNeil, but also for Hermon MacNeil. 

This was revealed in the TIMELINE drawn from evidence in her three articles series “Sculptor Americanus.”  1,2,3

The following Facts are reported in these articles:

  • Cecelia was present in the MacNeil home for conversations with Hermon MacNeil. 
  • Hermon called his secretary, Marie Mutschler, into the room to take notes
  • The next four pages of the May 1974 article by Cecelia describe Hermon as he told stories of his life.

In my research at the Cornell Library Archives, the “MacNeil Papers”  contain an eleven page typed document entitled “AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH – HERMON ATKINS MACNEIL”:

  • The voice narrating this document is that of Hermon MacNeil.
  • On page 11, he ends his Autobiography with two sentences saying:

“In short, I feel that I have had a very fortunate life, living as someone said on ‘THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCULPTURE’.  As I write this in June, 1943, with the world in a terrific struggle it would seem to be true enough for my span of life will not last for the next revival of sculpture.”   

Here Hermon closes his Autobiographical Sketch.

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MacNeil Timeline 1940-1947

Changes and Losses in Hermon’s closing years of life

1940  November 19 —  Dedication of the last monumental sculpture of Hermon MacNeil’s career

  • “The Pony Express” dedicated in St. Joseph, Missouri

1943 June   — Hermon MacNeil dictated his AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH to Marie Mutchler, his personal secretary.

  • Cecelia W. Muench, RN, his home care nurse, was present
  • She nursed him through a prolonged attack of tachycardia in June 1943
  • Cecelia also nursed Carol Brooks MacNeil in the MacNeil Home.  She had a front row seat to Hermon’s lived-grief over the last months of his “Carrie.” 

1944 June 22 —  Death of Carol Brooks MacNeil

  • As Carol’s condition worsened, her needs exceeded the home-care options of the day. 
  • Carol was admitted to the Jamacia (Queens) Hospital dying there shortly after.

1945    — Hermon MacNeil’s second marriage to Cecilia W. Muench, R.N. also a widow

1946 February 4Death of Dr. S. Meredith Strong – “The Cowboy Doctor” whose stallion, “Poncho Villa,” was Hermon s model for “The Pony Express” statue. 

1947 October 2 — Death of Hermon MacNeil  

1947 October 18 — MacNeil Will filed in Probate

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

SOURCES:

  1. Cecelia MacNeil with Dr. Allen Nestle. “Sculptor Americanus: Hermon Atkins MacNeil”.   (First in a Series of Three), The Antiques Journal, April 1974,  pp. 10-13, 54.
  2. Cecelia MacNeil with Dr. Allen Nestle. “Sculptor Americanus: Hermon Atkins MacNeil”.   (Second in a Series of Three), The Antiques Journal, May 1974,  pp. 28-31.
  3. Cecelia MacNeil with Dr. Allen Nestle. “Sculptor Americanus: Hermon Atkins MacNeil”.   (Third in a Series of Three), The Antiques Journal, June 1974,  pp. 32-35, 51.
  4. Lynn H. Burnett. (Editor’s Comments:)“Hermon Atkins MacNeil in Historical Perspective”.  The Antiques Journal April 1974, pp. 4, 5, 48.

     

Categories : Location

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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
Hosting & Tech Support: Leiturgia Communications, Inc.           WATCH US GROW

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.
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