WELCOME to the “Hermon A. MacNeil” — Virtual Gallery & Museum !

~ This Gallery celebrates my great Uncle, Hermon Atkins MacNeil an American classic sculptor of the Beaux Arts School.  He sculpted Native images and American history:  ~ World’s Fairs, statues, monuments, coins, and more…  ~ Over 300 stories (25 per page) in 10 pages. (Click on Next Page >> at bottom).  View thousands of photos from this virtual MacNeil Gallery.  It stretches from New York to New Mexico ~ Oregon to S. Carolina.   ~ 2016 marked the 150th Anniversary of Hermon MacNeil’s birth. ~ Hot-links ( lower right) lead to works by Hermon Atkins MacNeil.  ~~Do you WALK or DRIVE by MacNeil sculptures DAILY!  ~ CHECK OUT my Uncle Hermon’s works here!

Daniel Neil Leininger, webmaster

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

Search Results for "Reinhart Award"

 ‘MacNeil Month’ becomes ‘MacNeil~Brooks Month’ in 2023

Hermon A MacNeil about 1895

Carol ‘Carrie’ Brooks about 1895

Each February is MacNeil Month.This year it is MacNeil~Brooks Month

<- Two Sculptors made a young looking pair ->

From their first meeting at the

Chicago Worlds Fair of 1893,

to the Eagles Nest**

[a summer artist colony in Oregon, Illinois.] 

then the Reinhart Award of 1895;

Hermon and Carrie knew what they wanted next.   So…

Hermon MacNeil and Carol ‘Carrie’ Brooks

were married on Christmas Day 1895.

Here’s Hermon and Carrie nestled with some visiting MacNeils.

Left to right: Hermon, Carrie, Alice MacNeil (Hermon’s sister), Wilbur MacNeil (Hermon’s younger Brother), and Elizabeth Louisa Barlow (Wilbur’s wife). The child is Claude (son of Hermon and Carrie.  Location: Side porch of MacNeil home at College Point, N.Y.  [Credit: Photo courtesy of James Haas, MacNeil biographer].

Our first MacNeil-Brooks Month photo for 2023 comes to us courtesy of:

James Haas, Hermon MacNeil biographer ==>

Jim dates the photo above as 1903. After identifying Hermon, Carrie, and Alice, he adds:

“The child sitting on his (Wilbur’s) lap is probably his nephew Claude, born in France in 1900. The woman to his left is Elizabeth Barlow who Wilbur had married in California in 1901. After earning a Master’s degree in Agriculture at Cornell where Hermon had taught, he moved to California to teach science in Petaluma high school. There he met and married Elizabeth Louisa Barlow a teacher in the Petaluma elementary school. In 1903 they left California for Honolulu; the photo likely taken prior to their departure.  For the rest of his life Wilbur taught science at Oahu College later called Punahou School. During a visit in 1911, Hermon modeled a portrait bust of Elizabeth Barlow found on page 162 in Hermon Atkins MacNeil: American Sculptor in the Broad, Bright Daylight. During the visit, Hermon gave Wilbur a tour of the Poppenhusen Institute. He admired the building’s architecture, looked in on classes and was introduced to school head John Gyger Embree as well as faculty members and other Institute Trustees. Wilbur died in 1937, a highly regarded educator. The couple had no children.

Then Jim adds a 21st Century surprise:

a MacNeil ~ Obama connection!

If Punahou School sounds familiar, it was from this school that Barack Obama graduated.

Barack Obama    (Class of ’79) was the 44th President of the United States. He attended Punahou from 5th grade until graduation. (’79), Harvard Law Review editor, U Chicago lecturer on Constitutional Law, Nobel, Grammy and Emmy winner, author, state basketball champion, US Senator, Elected 44th US President in 2008 and 2012.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

SOURCE:  Brooklyn Daily Star, March 15,1911 [Courtesy of James Haas]

Wilbur MacNeil also visited

his brother Hermon in 1911.

Wilbur MacNeil toured the Poppenhusen Institute in College Point, Queens, NYC.  (See news clipping)

Wilbur MacNeil was a distinguished visitor touring the Institute.  He was escorted by two trustees of the Institute, namely, Dr. Hugh Gray and Hermon MacNeil (Wilbur’s older brother)

Jim Haas adds that “Dr. Hugh Gray was a physician in College Point between 1905 and 1915.  His wife Geretrude was the daughter of Hermon Pratt, whoise sister was Mary Lash Pratt MacNeil.”

 

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

Why is February is so special?
Hermon MacNeil was born on February 27, 1866

Hermon’s older cousin, Tom Henry MacNeil (my grandfather),

was born on February 29th, 1860. 

So February is MacNeil~Brooks Month in several ways.

This is the first of several postings that will celebrate this theme. 

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

Related posts:

  1. Hermon MacNeil and Hamlin Garland ~ ~ Connections Through the Years – Part 3 (8) Hermon MacNeil met Hamlin Garland in Chicago. Hermon MacNeil Hermon…
  2. ~ ~ ~ “The Most Happy Young Man I Know” ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Hermon A. MacNeil ~ Success & Marriage! (7) 1895 Hermon Atkins MacNeil, American Sculptor (1866-1947) MacNeil’s bronze of…
  3. Hermon MacNeil ~ “The Most Happy Young Man I Know!” (6) ~ Christmas Day 1895 ~ In 1895, Amy Aldis Bradley…
  4. The MacNeil’s Chicago Wedding – Christmas Day 1895 (6) I sit here in Chicago during this Christmas Season, imagining…
  5. Hermon MacNeil’s ~~ Friend and Guide in 1895 ~~ “HAMLIN GARLAND” Grew up in South Dakota ~ [#1] (6) The Hamlin Garland Memorial Highway ~ Brown County, South Dakota…
  6. A 1894 Sculpture of Charles F. Browne ~ ~ ~ by Hermon A. MacNeil. (6) Out of public view, deep in the archives of the…

Related Images:

After the adoption of the US Constitution in 1789 and for the next 146 years, the United States Supreme Court had no permanent home.   Briefly from 1789 to 1800, the Federal Government functioned out of Philadelphia, and then New York City until the permanent Capitol was built in the District of Columbia.  Finally, in 1800 the U.S. Federal Government moved into Washington, D.C.

Painting: “British Burn the Capitol, 1814,” Allyn Cox, 1974, Corridor, House wing, First Floor.

The Supreme Court of the United States, however, changed its meeting place a half dozen times within the Capitol.  After the British burned the Capitol in the War of 1812, the Court convened in a private home.  Eventually, from 1860 until 1935, the Court sat in what is now known as the “Old Senate Chamber.”

Hermon Atkins MacNeil (1866 -1947)

Cass Gilbert architect (1859 – 1934)

Though considered a co-equal branch, the Judicial function seemed a “nomadic” tenant of space in the growing Capitol until 1929.  A former President, who later served as Chief Justice, changed that itinerant existence.

Chief Justice Wm. Howard Taft 1921

In 1929 Chief Justice William Howard Taft, who had been President of the United States from 1909 to 1913, persuaded Congress to end this arrangement and authorize the construction of a permanent home for the Court.  Architect Cass Gilbert was charged by Chief Justice Taft to design “a building of dignity and importance suitable for its use as the permanent home of the Supreme Court of the United States.”  [Gilbert and Taft were both Ohioans and life long friends.]

Neither Taft nor Gilbert survived to see the Supreme Court Building completed. Construction proceeded under the direction of Chief Justice Hughes and architects Cass Gilbert, Jr., and John R. Rockart. The construction, begun in 1932, was completed in 1935, when the Court was finally able to occupy its own building.

Hermon MacNeil and Architects

Hermon MacNeil trained in Paris at the Ecole de Beaux Arts with both sculptors and architects.  He later won the Reinhart Prize and again studied with architects and sculptors from 1896 to 1899 at the American Academy in Rome.

The New York Architectural League wanted an award medallion to present to architects and sculptors.  They commissioned Hermon MacNeil to create a suitable medal.   Photos of MacNeil’s original clay masters may be viewed here: [CLICK HERE].   These clay were reduced onto the steel dies used  press the final medallions pictured below.

Later A. A. Weinman and Hermon MacNeil were both awarded this commemorative creation.  Weinman designed the Walking Liberty half dollar and the Mercury dime 

The actual medal presented to Weinman is pictured below.  It resides in the webmaster’s private collection.

New York Architectural League Medal.  Designed by Hermon MacNeil this is the actual medallion awarded to A. A. Weinmann.  https://www.pafa.org/museum/collection/item/medal-honor-sculpture-architectural-league-new-york Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

Hermon MacNeil and Cass Gilbert

MacNeil added sculptures to at least two of Cass Gilbert’s many buildings and monument projects.

  1. United States Supreme Court 1928-1935[9] Washington, DC
  2. St. Louis Art Museum 1901-1904[12] Saint Louis, MO

 

MacNeil & the Supreme Court Building

The Supreme Court website suggests Gilbert was directly involved with the sculptor’s designs.

Cass Gilbert, the building’s architect, worked closely with MacNeil from 1932 to 1934 to create the thirteen symmetrically balanced figures above the Corinthian portico. 

The central marble figures on this rarely noticed eastern pediment depict the theme “Justice – The Guardian of Liberty.”  Sculptor MacNeil’s central figures represent three great Eastern civilizations from which our laws are derived.  These figures portray lawgivers: Moses (receiver of Hebrew Ten Commandments) flanked by Confucius (Chinese philosopher and teacher) and Solon (Athenian lawmaker, statesman, and poet).  Confucius is on the viewers’ left, Solon to the right, both flanking Moses with his hands on two separate tablets. 1

MacNeil & the St. Louis Art Museum (Palace of Fine Arts).

 

To view this collaboration from 1912: CLICK HERE 

 

 

 


Photos:

  1.  Painting: “British Burn the Capitol, 1814,” Allyn Cox, 1974, Corridor, House wing, First Floor. (https://www.aoc.gov/explore-capitol-campus/blog/most-magnificent-ruin-burning-capitol-during-war-1812)
  2. “The East Pediment”  https://www.supremecourt.gov/about/east_pediment_11132013.pdf. SEE ALSO: “Religious Symbols Inside & Outside the U.S. Supreme Court Building”.  Assembled by Nathaniel Segal 2014  http://nathanielsegal.mysite.com/TenCommandments/10SupremeCourtBuilding.html
  3. This Unique “New York Architectural League” Award Medal links H. A. MacNeil & A. A. Weinman.   Posted by: | here on Sept. 01, 2022  https://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/2022/09/01/this-unique-new-york-architectural-league-award-medal-links-h-a-macneil-a-a-weinman/
  4. “New York Architectural League Medal” ~Original Clay Models saved from the MacNeil Studio ~ 1947 Posted by: | here on Sept. 16, 2022 https://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/2022/09/16/new-york-architectural-league-medal-original-clay-models-saved-from-the-macneil-studio-1947/

Research Sources:

  1. Cass Gilbert Society: Selected Works.  Retrieved at https://www.cassgilbertsociety.org/works/  on May, 20, 2023
  2. Cass Gilbert Society: Biography.  Retrieved at https://www.cassgilbertsociety.org/architect/bio.html  on May, 20, 2023

Related Images:

1895

Hermon Atkins MacNeil, American Sculptor (1866-1947)

MacNeil’s bronze of Blackpipe, a Sioux warrior he befriended in 1893 (source Smithsonian Archives)

December of 1895 was an exciting time in the life of Hermon A. MacNeil — A time when he was described as “the most happy young man I know.”

Chicago. In fact, 1985, in general, had been a productive year for the sculptor.  Following the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, times had been tough for both artists and Fair workers.   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. 

Marquette.  During 1895, Hermon had completed the four bronze panels depicting the life of Fr. Jacques (Père) Marquette.  They were put in place over the four entry doors of the Marquette Building (CLICK HERE) where he and his artist friend, Charles F. Browne, shared a studio. 

Panel 4 – “The de Profundis was intoned ..

According to information from the MacArthur Foundation (current owner and curator of the Marquette Building), Amy Aldis Bradley wrote in 1895 to Peter Brooks:

After commissioning MacNeil for the exterior bronzes, Aldis wrote to Peter Brooks, “McNeil’s [sic] panels are being placed in position. It is greatly to their and his credit that these bas-reliefs have won for him the Roman [Reinhart] Fellowship. The Commission, choosing him as the best of the very young men…The young sculptor was married on Christmas Day, and sailed for Rome on Wednesday, and is, on the whole, the most happy young man I know. He is very grateful to the owners of the Marquette Building.” (http://marquette.macfound.org/slide/herman-macneil/ )

 Rinehart Prize. In December,  he received news that he had been named as recipient of the Rinehart Roman Scholarship for study in Rome.  Newspapers such as the Nov. 25, 1895 Chicago Tribune (CLICK HERE), and the Dec. 22, 1895 -New York Sun, (CLICK HERE) (columns 5 & 6), contained the news of the selection of this 29 year-old western artist to receive the Prix Rome.

H.A.MacNeil ~1895 sketch - Chicago-Sun

H.A.MacNeil ~1895 sketch – The Sun (New York City)

The sculptors on the committee that selected MacNeil for the  award were the ‘giants’ among American sculptors of the 19th century. As mentioned in the above newspapers, the Rinehart Roman committee included Augustus Saint Gaudens, John Quincy Adams Ward, and Daniel Chester French

These famous sculptors were in the prime of their careers.  Saint Gaudens, at 47, had been the sculptural advisor for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.  One tradition suggests that MacNeil asked Saint Gaudens for a letter of reference to Phillip Martiny that got him work on the  that Exposition in  1893. John Quincy Adams Ward, at age 65 was the ‘grandfather’ of American sculptors, and the founder as well as standing president of the National Sculpture Society. Daniel Chester French, age 45, was also a founding member of the National Sculpture Society, and sculpted the colossal sixty-foot golden “Republic” centerpiece statue for the Chicago Fair. ( A thirty foot tall miniature golden replica of which still graces Jackson Park in Chicago today.)

Marriage:

On Christmas Day 1895, in Chicago, he married Carol Louise Brooks, also a sculptor. Earlier MacNeil was informed that he had won the Rinehart Roman Scholarship. Following their wedding, the pair left for Rome, passing three years there (1896-1899) and eventually spend a fourth year in Paris where their first son, Claude, was born.  During those years they study together under the same masters and  live on the shared income of Hermon’s Rinehart Scholarship.  (Carol  had also studied sculpture with both Lorado Taft and Frederick William MacMonnies and been a member of “The White Rabbits” ~ a self christened group of women sculptors called in to complete the massive work load of ‘staff’ statues needed for the Chicago Fair in 1893. )

Future:

Other events from 1895 would later unfold into sculpture-opportunities for Hermon MacNeil. In May in Greenwich Village, New York City, Stanford White, with assistance from both Frederick MacMonnies and Phillip Martiny, completed a permanent Washington Arch. 

, 1895 photo of Empty pedestals on the new Washington Arch with New Yorkers strolling into the popular park.  The skyline includes Judson Memorial Church tower to the right of the Arch.  NYC Citizens would wait more than twenty years before the MacNeil and Calder tributes to George Washington as Commander-in-Chief and as President would be commissioned and put in place in 1916 and 1918. (Photo credit: NYC -Architecture.com: ~  http://nyc-architecture.com/GV/GV046WashingtonSquareArch.htm)

The first one, made in 1889 of paper and wood, commemorated the centennial of  the inauguration of  George Washington.  Received with great popularity, the citizens of NYC demanded a permanent Arch monument for their first President.  White’s design was dedicated on May 4, 1895 with two empty pedestals, meant for statues of Washington.  These niches on the north face of the monument remained empty for almost two decades before MacNeil’s statue of Washington as Commander-in-Chief would fill one pedestal (east side, in 1916), and Alexander Stirling Calder’s statue of Washington as Statesman would fill the other (west side, in 1918).

Related Images:

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.
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