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 300 of stories & 4,000 photos form this virtual MacNeil Gallery stretching east to west  New York to New Mexico ~ Oregon to S. Carolina.   ~ 2016 marked the 150th Anniversary of Hermon MacNeil’s birth. ~~Do you WALK or DRIVE by MacNeil sculptures DAILY!  ~ CHECK OUT Uncle Hermon’s works!     Daniel Neil Leininger, webmaster

DO YOU walk by MacNeil Statues and NOT KNOW IT ???


BLACK PIPE, the SIOUX, Returns to South Dakota on “Native American Day” ~ ~



After 130 years, Black Pipe, the Sioux, has returned to South Dakota, on “Native American Day” ~ ~ now “Indigenous Peoples Day.”

“BLACK PIPE, THE SIOUX, AT SIX TEEN YEARS.” These words are what MacNeil wrote on this bronze roundlette, a bas-relief, circa 1894.

This piece, one of only two known to exist,  [CLICK HERE for the other]

dates to 1894 and was possibly cast in bronze by its sculptor:

    Hermon MacNeil

     Now it resides in


       at the home of the webmaster.


Hermon MacNeil’s BLACK PIPE work was a product of lean days.  Following the closing of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, both artists and Fair workers had tough times.   In 1894, Hermon found himself “stranded” in Chicago. 

For a while, he earned meals in exchange for drawing sketches of patrons in a Chicago restaurant.  (He learned that livelihood while traveling  through France years before). Eventually, his prospects would begin to improve. 

Fifty years later after a lifetime of sculpting, remembering that era of his life, he wrote:

“I finished my work at the “Chicago Fair” and it (The Fair) was a great success.  The best combination of buildings in the then prevalent classic style, ever put together for any Fair.

I took a small studio in Chicago and tried to see if I could make a go of it.  C. F. Browne was also stranded there and I invited him to share the studio with me.  During that year (evenings) I was asked to teach sculpture and drawing in the School of the Art Institute and also had the good fortune to have four bas-reliefs to do illustrating the life of Pere Marquette.”   [Autobiographical Sketch, Hermon Atkins MacNeil, June 1943, page 5.]

The Indian had caught Hermon’s fancy.  Beginning with Buffalo Bill Cody’s “Wild West Show” just outside the gate of the Chicago Fair, MacNeil saw Cody’s dramatic spectacle many times.  He always carried a sketch book and drew whatever he saw. 

Black Pipe later became the model for Primitive Indian Music.


One day walking down Adams Street, Hermon recognized a really long haired Indian looking down and out walking along the sidewalk.  He looked hungry and cold.  Hermon had sketched many Indians while attending Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show. 

“So I stopped and chatted with him and found he was stranded.”  Mac brought him to the studio, warmed him, fed him and began modeling him.  In four hours, MacNeil had made a full head profile relief, and titled it Black Pipe, the Sioux at Six Teen Years.

 Like many other artists of the time, Hermon sculpted what he saw.  This Indian had indeed “caught his fancy.” 


Chicago. In fact, 1985, in general, had been a productive year for the sculptor. MacNeil had found Black Pipe, (the Sioux from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show), cold and hungry on the streets of Chicago.  He took him in as studio help and a model for future sculptures.   That vision of Black Pipe remained in Hermon’s artistic memory and appeared again many times.

For October 2023,


will be the featured theme of

upcoming posts


Related Posts:

  1. The “Apache Papoose” an early Native American study by Hermon MacNeil (10.811)

Related Images:

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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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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