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

~ This Gallery celebrates Hermon Atkins MacNeil, American sculptor of the Beaux Arts School. MacNeil led a generation of sculptors in capturing many fading Native American images and American history in the realism of this classic style.

~ World’s Fairs, statues, public monuments, coins, and buildings across to country. Hot-links (on the lower right) lead to photos & info of works by MacNeil.

~ Hundreds of stories and photos posted here form this virtual MacNeil Gallery of works all across the U.S.A.  New York to New Mexico — Oregon to South Carolina.

~ 2016 marked the 150th Anniversary of Hermon MacNeil’s birth on February 27,

Take a Virtual Journey

This website seeks to transport you through miles and years with a few quick clicks of a mouse or keyboard or finger swipes on an iPad.

Perhaps you walk or drive by one of MacNeil's many sculptures daily. Here you can gain awareness of this artist and his works.

For over one hundred years his sculptures have graced our parks, boulevards, and parkways; buildings, memorials, and gardens; campuses, capitols, and civic centers; museums, coinage, and private collections.

Maybe there are some near you!

Search Results for "marquette building"

Here are my two favorite young Chicagoans coming back from a theater performance of “Hamilton”. They stopped and posed below the second panel.

In 2019 the Marquette Building construction has the four bas relief panels (above the doors) protected under scaffolding while the edifice is under repair.  >—–>>

Hermon MacNeil’s first studio home was  in the Marquette Building of Chicago in 1895. His wedding reception for him and Carol Brooks was hosted there on Christmas Day eve 1895.

From that same location, his Four Bronze Panels over the front doors have been telling the story of Father Marquette for 124 years.  They welcome visitors into the Marquette Building, just as the Native Americans met and welcomed the European explorers to Northwest Territory.  The Native Americans who lived in these regions include the Ojibwa, Huron, Ottowa, Illini, Potawatomi, and Menominee.  MacNeil placed these tribes on the Marquette Memorial Statue on Douglas Avenue in 1926.

MacNeil carved the tribal names in the Marquette Memorial of 1926. His moccasins are exquisite in detail, looking life-like.

 [(These Panels were refurbished to their original bronze luster in 2009.) CLICK HERE]

“Over the doors of the main entrance are panels of bronze, designed and executed by Mr. Herman A. MacNeil, illustrating incidents in the life of Pere Marquette in his explorations of the Mississippi River and the state of Illinois…The inscriptions below are panels taken from Marquette’s diary.” 
Architectural Reviewer, July 1897

Before the remodeling the panels look like this. MacNeil’s bronze panels of 1895.

MacArthur Foundation began restorations in 2001.

Marquette Building at 140 S. Dearborn Ave in Chicago with four MacNeil bronze sculptures above the entry doors

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation began ongoing restoration phases after acquiring the structure in 2001.

These phases include the following:

In 2001, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, its current owners, began a multi-year renovation.[18] The restoration to the exterior proceeded in two phases: reconstructing the cornice and replacing the 17th story windows to match the original windows; and cleaning and restoring the masonry and restoring the remainder of the windows.[8][19] Restoration architect Thomas “Gunny” Harboe directed this work.

The Foundation has invested in multiple restorations.

The Marquette and Joliette faces of MacNeil’s 1899 bronze reliefs at the Marquette building in the Loop resemble those likenesses he placed in his larger statue grouping on Douglas Avenue in 1926.

The Foundation website describes the History of the Panels as follows:   “Herman (sic: Hermon) MacNeil was a trained sculptor who worked on sculptures for the 1893 World’s Fair. 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.” CLICK HERE

MacNeil modeled Black Pipe after meeting him in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at the Chicago Worlds Fair.

 

 

The fine features of the child contract those of the weathered warriors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/p/AF1QipMoXrdAoOT7PRD-QcwjCC96VrRg_aDC7F7aay66=s1600-w1600

Hermon Atkins MacNeil’s four bronze relief panels depicting the life of Father Marquette contain great detail.  The pictures in this album offer example of that.  They are also from our recent visit to the Chicago loop to document this art for the website.

Below you will find our Brief Videos of each of the four panels follow along with photos from the building:

[Click here Panel 1 for video]

“To follow those waters … which will hence forth lead us into strange lands.”

Photo of Panel 1

Panel 1 ” To follow those waters …”

[Click here Panel 2 for Video]

“In vain I showed the calumet …  to explain that we had not come as enemies.”

Photo of Panel 2

Panel 2 "In vain I showed the calumet …”

[ Click here Panel 3 for Video]

“Passing two leagues up the river we resolved to winter there … being detained by my illness.”

Photo of Panel 3

Panel 3 "Passing two leagues up the river ..."

[Click here Panel 4 for Video]

“The de Profundis was intoned … the body was then carried to the church.”

Photo of Panel 4

Panel 4 - "The de Profundis was intoned ..

"The de Profundus was intoned ..." from Panel 4 (right)

The Chicago Historical Society has recorded a brochure from the early 1900s describing Chicago as a Tourist point and Summer Resort.  The paragraph on the Marquette building and MacNeil’s art is as follows:

A block further south on Dearborn Street, on the west side, near the
corner of Adams Street, is the main entrance to the Marquette, a memorial
office building commemorating the great missionary and explorer of that
name. Over the lintels, on the outside, are statuary and descriptive bronze
tablets as follows, the accompanying legends being quotations from
Marquette's journal: 

Marquette and Joliet launching their canoe on the headwaters of the
Wisconsin River "To follow those waters * * * which will henceforth
lead us into strange lands." 

Marquette and Joliet attacked by Indians on the Mississippi "In vain I
showed the calumet * * * to explain that we had not come as enemies." 

Arrival of Marquette at the Chicago River "Passing two leagues up the
river we resolved to winter there * * * being detained by my illness."
 
Burial of Marquette at St. Ignace (Dablon's Narrative) "The De Profundis
was intoned * * * the body was then carried to the church. " 

Inside the portal one is in a compact but beautiful and unique rotunda
of-carrara marble, in which are exquisite Tiffany glass and mother-of-
pearl mosaics,further depicting the career of Marquette. These consist of
panels showing the armour and weapons of the period, the heads of Marquette
and Joliet, an Indian chief, a French man-at-arms, a courier-de-bois, and
the following three principal panels, the legends thereon being from
Marquette's journal:
 
Departure of Marquette and Joliet from St. Ignace on their first voyage to the
Illinois "Firmly resolved to do all and suffer all for so glorious an enterprise."
 
The meeting with the Illinois "They answered that they were Illinois, and in
token of peace presented the pipe to smoke. ' ' 
The Death of Marquette (Dablon's Narrative) "To die as he had always asked in a
wretched cabin amid the forest, destitute of all human aid." 

http://libsysdigi.library.uiuc.edu/OCA/Books2009-11/chicagofortouris00illi/chicagofortouris00illi_djvu.txt

H.A. MacNeil "Fan Club" Members examine the Marquette Building - 140 S. Dearborn Ave.

[mappress]

MacNeil modeled Black Pipe after meeting him in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at the Chicago Worlds Fair ~ (photo by D. Neil Leininger) ~

Gregory H. Jenkins has posted stories of the Marquette Bronze relief panels at the Marquette Building – 140 N. Dearborn St. – Chicago.  Black Pipe, the Sioux that MacNeil met at the Buffalo Bill’s Wild west Show, adjacent to the 1983 Columbian Exposition, posed for him in 1894.  Some of the detail in the Bronze panel sculptures is amazingly intriguing up close.

Click HERE to see Jenkins comments and photos at: Chicago Sculpture in the Loop http://chicagosculptureintheloop.blogspot.com/2009/07/marquette-buiding-hermon-atkins-macneil.html

~ MacNeil Month #4 ~

Last night. the new FOX cop drama “Chicago Code” showed Hermon A. MacNeil’s art in the Chicago loop.

MacNeils bronze panels above the Marquette’s four doors were prominent in the pilot episode of “Chicago Code” on FOX last night.

A scene featured the front of  the Marquette Building at 140 S. Dearborn Street. The building with it’ s four MacNeil Bronze panels (above the doors in the photo at right) was used as an evacuated office building.  Detective Jarek Wysocki (Jason Clarke) and his partner, Caleb Evers (Matt Lauria), create a fire-alarm-diversion-tactic to clear the office.  Office workers evacuated and stood on the side walk with the sculptures visible behind them.

FOX showed great shots of Chicago throughout the new series pilot, but the Marquette Building was our personal favorite.  We will keep searching for a still photo from that scene in this new fast action drama. For the link to the entire episode, see below.

Stay tuned to FOX and this website for more action (and possibly more MacNeil sculpture scenes — we are 1 for 1 so far this season). For video of news review from  Chicago check out MYFOXChicago.com.

For more info on Macneil’s 1895 sculptures on the Marquette Building check out this posting: https://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/2010/06/

The “Chicago Code” Pilot episode can be viewed at the link below. The Marquette Building scene starts at 17:54.  The  MacNeil panels are visible only for 6 seconds, but the scene outside the building continues for  almost a minute to 18:50.  No still photos have been found of this segment of the show. MacNeil Bronze relief panels on Marquette Building.

From the website archieves here's a less crowded group photo (6-12-10) of the MacNeil's bronze relief sculptures on the Marquette Building. The group includes the webmaster and family members examining and documenting the art.

MacNeil's bronze sculpture of Marquette with an Ilinois Indian on his right hand.

Today we took a short trip south from our daughter’s home in Logan Square here in Chicago.  We drove south down through Douglas Park on Sacramento Blvd to Marshall Blvd as it becomes West 24th Blvd. There we found the 85 year old bronze grouping of Pere Marquette, Louis Jolliete, and an Illinois Indian that faces the greenway of the boulevard.

Hermon Atkins MacNeil completed this sculpture in 1926 under a commission by the Benjamin Franklin Ferguson Monument Fund.  Between 1905 and 1931 the Fund placed ten sculptures throughout various parks and beltways of Chicago.

Benjamin Franklin Ferguson, an Chicago lumber baron, left a million dollars in his will of 1905 for the purpose of  “The erection and maintenance of enduring statuary and monuments, in whole or in part of stone, granite or bronze in the parks, along the boulevards or in other public places.”

The massive scale of the trio grouping of about 12 feet on a 6 foot pedestal is visible as one approaches the Monument along Marshall and 24th Avenue Boulevards.

Chicagoans pass by the Marquette Monument daily as it towers over the Boulevards.

The bronze rests on a stone base which has aged (along with the neighborhood) in the eighty-five years since the monument was placed along the busy parkway.

Moccassin detail of Illinois Indian.

MacNeil chose to portray a clean-shaven Marquette.  The many images commemorating the French priest vary in their depiction of his appearance.  Hundreds of monuments and statues stretch  across the path of Marquette’s 17th century missionary exploration of the central U.S. frontier.

Detail of Illinois indian's leg and mocassin shows the sculptor's attention to the human form.

While conducting research for her master’s thesis, Ruth Nelson fell in love with the story of St. Ignace founder Father Jacques Marquette and his exploration of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River. That admiration for Fr. Marquette history has led her around the Midwest learning things long forgotten by many. Her goal is to share what she learns with the many towns connected to Fr. Marquette.

As an art history major at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Ms. Nelson wrote her master’s thesis on the artwork in the lobby of the Marquette Building in downtown Chicago, focusing on the mosaic and bronze artwork centralized around Fr. Marquette and his travels.

Bibliography: Ruth Nelson: “Conflict and Resolution on Gilded Age Grandeur: The Artistic Program of the Marquette Building Interior,” University of Illinois at Chicago, Master’s Thesis, 2007

As mentioned in the May 22nd posting on this website, the MacNeil Relief Panels in the Marquette Building in Chicago Loop have been restored and reinstalled in the building edifice on Dearborn Street.

The Mackinaw Island Town Crier quoted Ms. Ruth Nelson as observing:

“We really don’t know what Marquette looks like, everyone has a different interpretation.”

In her years of research, Nelson has found that different statues of Fr. Marquette around the Great Lakes feature him differently.  “Some depict him clean-shaven or with a beard, bald or with a full head of hair, and still others feature him with a stern-looking facial expression or a calm demeanor.”

MacNeil chose a young Marquette, clean-shaven and gentle faced in the Reliefs for the Marquette building.  This second sculpture cast in 1926 bears a similar resemblance, particular to MacNeil’s conception of Jesuit priest.

The Marquette and Joliette faces of MacNeil’s 1899 bronze reliefs at the Marquette building in the Loop resemble those likenesses he placed in this larger statue grouping of 1926. {The priest did seem to lose some hair in the 27 year interval.}

The Marquette and Joliette faces of MacNeil's 1899 bronze reliefs at the Marquette building in the Loop resemble those likenesses he placed in this larger statue grouping of 1926. {The priest did seem to lose some hair in the 27 year interval.}

MacNeil's Jolliete image of 1926.

We can thank the B F Ferguson Monument Fund, now administered by the Art Institute of Chicago, for its ongoing completion of Mr Ferguson’s vision of an art-full Chicago.  The MacNeil work comes from the earliest quarter century of the Fund’s comissions, and represents a heroic style of commemoration common to the era.

Only by standing before the sculpture can its massive scale and detail be appreciated as it towers over the boulevards.   This reminder of history and the heroic figures was central to the early wish of BF Ferguson in his 1905 bequest to the Arts in Chicago.

[mappress]

Only by standing before the sculpture can its massive scale and detail be appreciated as it towers over the boulevards. Our trip was a satisfying success as our daughter took our pictures at the foot of the Monument.

One Hundred and twenty-three years (123) ago, Hermon Atkins MacNeil and Carol Louise Brooks were on married Christmas Day.

Recently an invitation to their Wedding Reception came available from the estate of Walter Pratt. He was a first cousin of Hermon. A facsimile appears below.

Married in a private ceremony on Christmas Day Hermon and Carol MacNeil had a reception in the Marquette Building

Noteworthy, is the location of the reception: the “Studio 1733 Marquette Building Chicago, Adams and Dearborn Streets, Chicago”. Recovery of this printed invitation adds several previously unknown facts to the story of their wedding day.  The 19th Century Marquette Building is the 21st Century home of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The wedding earlier in the day was a private ceremony. Rev. Edward F. Williams, a Congregational Minister, officiated. Their license, completed in Rev. Williams hand, appears below.

Marriage License of Hermon Atkins MacNeil and Carol Louise Brooks issued on December 24th, 1895 and completed on Christmas Day 1895 by Rev. Edward F. Williams, Congregational Minister.

“Marriage: On Christmas Day 1895, in Chicago, he married Carol Louise Brooks, also a sculptor (see their marriage record below). 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 studied together under the same masters and shared the income of the Rinehart scholarship awarded to Hermon. (Carol had also studied sculpture with both Lorado Taft and Frederick William MacMonnies).”

Both Carol and Hermon sculpted for the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. Carol Brooks was one of Lorado Taft’s “White Rabbits”

Lorado Taft’s “White Rabbits” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Rabbits_(sculptors)

Hermon sculpted statues on the Electricity Building (See picture below)

Sketch of Hermon MacNeil from a newspaper article announcing the 1895 award of the Rinehart Prize
Carol Brooks MacNeil in 1907 with their two sons, Claude (rt) and Alden (lt) at their College Point Home in Queens, NYC, NY where she lived until her death in 1944.

Related posts:

  1. ~ ~ ~ “The Most Happy Young Man I Know” ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Hermon A. MacNeil ~ Success & Marriage! (13) 1895 Hermon Atkins MacNeil, American Sculptor (1866-1947) MacNeil’s bronze of…
  2. Hermon MacNeil ~ “The Most Happy Young Man I Know!” (10) ~ Christmas Day 1895 ~ In 1895, Amy Aldis Bradley…
  3. Hermon MacNeil at the 1893 Columbian Exposition ~ ~ ~ THE CHICAGO YEARS ~ ~ (9) CHICAGO YEARS:  Partners and Colleagues When Hermon MacNeil came home to the…
  4. “PRIMITIVE INDIAN MUSIC” ~ Part 3: 1894 Eda Lord’s Ticket to the Chicago World’s Fair (9) Eda Lord, (the woman who purchased the MacNeil bronze statue,…
  5. The MacNeil’s Chicago Wedding – Christmas Day 1895 (9) I sit here in Chicago during this Christmas Season, imagining…
  6. MacNeil – Brooks 120th Anniversary (1895-2015) (7) On Christmas Day one dozen decades ago, Hermon A. MacNeil…

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