Archive for Coins and Medals
The year 2016 marks the sesquicentennial of the birth of Hermon Atkins MacNeil on February 27, 1886.
While we celebrate each February as “MacNeil Month,” this year is extra special as the 150th anniversary of his birth.
Several events during 2016 will acknowledge that here on HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com:
- The newly commissioned 2016 MacNeil Medallion will be available for sale on eBay. CLICK HERE
- Postings will continue to celebrate the life and art of Hermon A. MacNeil.
- Kisimul Castle the home of the MacNeil Chieftans from the 14th century, will be featured.
- The origins of the MacNeil Clan on the Isle of Barra in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides will be visited with photos and history .
- The webmaster’s ongoing travels and activity will be presented as his “Search for Uncle Hermon” continues as a odyssey of retirement.
- Antique “MacNeil Postcards” of some of his sculptures across the U. S. will be presented as features.
- MacNeil’s years in Paris will be revisited with photos of the newly restored Ecole de Beaux Arts where he studied and taught.
- MacNeil’s teachers in Paris will be featured with photos of their sculptures in the Musee d’Orsay in the center of Paris. This museum was built as the railroad station for the Universal Exposition of 1900 in which MacNeil and his contemporary sculptors exhibited and received prizes.
- Our recent Travels to Scotland will be featured with photos and stories.
- Our travels to France this year will be shared.
ALL in ALL, 2016 begins as a banner year for this website. SO stay tuned.
Better yet, SUBSCRIBE by clicking the button.
2016 marks a banner year for this website.
This February 27th, 2016 marks another anniversary of the birth of Hermon Atkins MacNeil our patron sculptor.
of the birth of
HERMON ATKINS Mac NEIL
In honor of this Anniversary, we have commissioned a MacNeil Medallion commemorating his birth and the Centennial of the first minting of the Liberty Standing Quarter.
This beautiful bronze medal features the image of MacNeil at about age 60. It is plated in nickel and measures 3 inches (77 mm) in diameter.
It is available on now eBay. CLICK HERE
The other side of the medallion celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the first mintings of the Standing Liberty Quarter. BUT More About that later.
Upcoming: MacNeil Roots and Pursuits
NOW ON eBay, (Click Here) This new Medallion is a bronze medal 3″ in diameter with nickel plating. Minted in 2016, it commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Hermon Atkins MacNeil, as well as, the 100th Centenary year of the Standing Liberty Quarter minted from 1916-1930.
The center of the face duplicates the obverse of MacNeil’s original sculpture of Miss Liberty from 1916. The “M” at the bottom (to the right of the 13th star) is the only form of signature allowed for the sculptor.
The reverse features the central image of Hermon A. MacNeil (1886-1947) and denotes the 150th Anniversary of his birth. This sesquicentennial will be celebrated here at HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com for the next 366 days of 2016. [ CLICK HERE for eBay link ]
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Hermon A. MacNeil
2016 marks the anniversary of two events:
Hermon MacNeil’s Birth: (click here)
He was born in Chelsea (Plattsville, Everett, Malden), Massachusetts. The area went through many changes of names, annexation, and incorporation from 1860-1900. [ CLICK HERE FOR MORE on MacNeil’s Birth ]
The Minting of the Standing Liberty Quarter: (click here)
Issued from 1916-1930 the Standing Liberty Quarter (SLQ) sculpted by Hermon A. MacNeil. [ CLICK HERE FOR MORE on SLQ ]
Hermon Atkins MacNeil (1866-1947) – “Hopi” (Obverse) and “Prayer for Rain” (Reverse) Society of Medallists (SOM), Issue #3 of 1931, was based on MacNeil’s “Moqui (Hopi) Runner” statue of 1897. This was the only SOM issue that MacNeil would ever sculpt. Yet nearly fifty years later (1943), he vividly described these images of his 1895 travels to the Hopi (Moqui) Mesa in his Autobiographical Sketches.
MacNeil’s brief artists intro accompanying the medal is as follows:
“The two incidents of the Hopi Prayer for Rain on the mesas of northeastern Arizona depicted on this medal are chosen by your sculptor because of the extraordinary vital enthusiasm and power that the Indians throw into this ceremony. Having witnessed it and been thrilled by the intensity of their emotion and on further study by the complicated and perfectly natural development of this drama, I cannot help feel that in it we find a basic note underlying all religions. All these Southwest Indians, living as they do in an arid region, have developed their religion along the lines of their greatest need –water.”
In the documentation accompanying each medal, MacNeil offered the following additional narrative of his witnessing of this ritual nearly 36 years earlier while on his 1895 venture to the Southwest with Hamlin Garland and Charles F. Browne:
“This is one of their greatest and most important ceremonies. Occurring in August, it is filled with ritualism for nine days and in their kiva, an underground chamber, they have ceremonies with these snakes that have been gathered by the antelope and snake clans of their tribe for six days, from the north, east, south and west, also from above and below, therefore from all the directions of the universe. These snakes, so far as our best authority goes, although a portion of them are poisonous varieties, are not tampered with but are handled freely by the Indians, both during their underground ceremonies, and later on the last day above ground, in their public ceremony. During the last day ceremony they dance two and two, one with the snakes in his mouth, sometimes two at a time, while the other, accompanying him, wards off the head of the snake from the face of his companion with an eagle feather. It will be remembered that the eagle preys on the snake in nature and the smell of the eagle feather is supposed to frighten the snake with the intention of preventing him from biting. This ceremony was so intense and apparently so vital to them that although I myself saw two Indians bitten, they seem to be so completely under the control of the spirit that although I watched for further developments, yet there seemed to be no swelling or poisonous effects from the bites.
Even though the dancing takes place after the participants have taken hardly any food during the nine days, yet immediately after the public ceremony, which is performed in a circular action around the sacred stone on the mesa at Waslpi, they each take an emetic. After circling twice around the sacred rock, the one bearing snakes in his mouth emits them and a third follower immediately grabs the snake from the ground and carries it back to a little improvised enclosure of cottonwood boughs. After all the snakes have been used on this manner each Indian grabs into the bunch and with his hands filled with the snakes, each one starts running down the trail off the mesa onto the plains as shown on the reverse side of the medal and figuratively deposits the snakes again in their underground abodes.
Behind the heads of the dancers on the obverse is shown the sand picture drawn by the Indians themselves with colored earths on the floor of their kiva or underground chamber, about which they performed sacred ceremonials previous to the public dance. On this side of the medal the attempt is also made to show the apparent basic reason for the use of the snake in this prayer for water. This reason or theory seems to have evolved from the similarity in action between the snake on the earth and the lightning in the sky. The Indian, however, has evolved the theory of a kind of cousinship through these angular moving reptiles with the still more angular movement of the lightning to jar the rain clouds for rain, thus making their chief need their strongest prayer. Curiously enough, although there had been no sign of rain for weeks, the day following the remarkable ceremony, a little cloud appeared in the sky and the next day it rained copiously.”
[ SOURCE: Society of Medalists documentation accompanying the medals; reproduced at “Medals4Trade” ]
100 years after the birth of Hermon MacNeil and fifty years after the Standing Liberty Quarter was minted, Doris Docsher Baum appeared on the TV quiz show “I’ve Got a Secret” on April 4, 1966.
The original Penn Station (1910-1964) was built from beautiful pink marble similar in appearance to what can be found at Hermon MacNeil‘s World War I memorial bearing the names of Flushing’s dead in that conflict. MacNeil, a College Point resident, also designed the “Standing Liberty” quarter (the predecessor to today’s Washington Quarter), the Marquette Memorial in Chicago, and 4 busts in the Hall of Fame of for Great Americans, among many other works.
The traditional Roman fasces consisted of a bundle of birch rods tied together with a red ribbon as a cylinder around an axe. Though adopted by Italian fascism in the early 20th Century, the symbol seems to have avoided the stigma that the swastika acquired after its adoption by the Nazis.
[ SOURCE: http://forgotten-ny.com/2006/10/northern-boulevard-in-flushing/. ]
Doris Doscher was also model for Karl Bitter’s Abundance in the Pulitzer Fountain at the Plaza Hotel in New York.