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

~ This Gallery celebrates Hermon Atkins MacNeil of the Beaux Arts School, an 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 Atkins MacNeil.   ~ Over 300 stories in 50 pages & thousands of photos form this virtual MacNeil Gallery stretching from 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 here!

Daniel Neil Leininger, webmaster

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

Archive for Life Events

       Happy New Year   

 

2024 will welcome a new issue of

THE GALLEY.

THE GALLEY, (issue #47, for Fall/Winter 2023) arrives in January 2024.  It will feature a summary of the first half of the recent biography of Hermon Atkins MacNeil.  This book, (researched, written, and published) by James Haas has been previewed several times here since its release in November 2022.

THE GALLEY is the official magazine of the Clan MacNeil Association of America edited by Vicki Sanders Corporon.  As a teen she assisted her mother, Nellie McNeill Sanders, who was then Editor.  Ever since, they continued the mother/daughter labors leading to Vicki following her mother as Editor. 

Under Vicki’s watch  THE GALLEY has grown into a bound full-color volume published semi-annually.  It is mailed world-wide to all members  of the Association as a privilege of membership.

MEMBERSHIP:  You may join the Clan MacNeil Association (CLICK HERE)  with or without kinship.  You will enjoy receiving and reading  THE GALLEY.

GALLEY of Spring/ Summer 2014

My upcoming articles are the fourth and fifth that I have written for THE GALLEY. 1, 2, 3.    Part 2 will condense the second half of Haas’ book and be featured in the Spring/Summer issue of THE GALLEY. 

I enjoy writing for THE GALLEY and working with Vicki Corporon.  Many factors contribute to that pleasure:

  • Our travel through Scotland and Isle of Barra in 2014 has generated tremendous knowledge, imagery, and appreciation for my Scottish heritage (MacNeil and McKay).
  • My 14 years as Webmaster of this website has allowed me to produce nearly 300 postings.  My reading, research, photography, and travel have become my retirement career.
  • My collaboration with James E. Haas through these years AND his continued research and publication of the Hermon MacNeil Biography  have produced parallel research heightening public interest and awareness of  Hermon Atkins MacNeil.

    Roger Bow with his MacNeil Medallion at the MacNeil Flushing Memorial NYC (8-23-2020)

  • I’ve spent the last decade traveling and photographing monuments, statues, and  geography associated with MacNeil’s life and accumulated a database of resources for my writing.
  • Through the website, I have met so many MacNeil descendants and enthusiasts (I call them my “Friends of https://HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com)
  • My minting of the MacNeil Medallion commemorative in 2016 has increased knowledge and enthusiasm for Hermon Atkins MacNeil, the Standing Liberty Quarter. 
  • 2016 MacNeil Medallion marking the 150th Anniversary the birth of Hermon A. MacNeil. Commissioned by our webmaster, these numbered medals are available on eBay.  

     

    2016 MacNeil Medallion marking the 15th Anniversary of his birth. Available on eBay.

       

Articles in THE GALLEY by the Webmaster. ___

  1. Daniel Neil Leininger, “Clan MacNeil Connections and Hermon Atkins MacNeil.” THE GALLEY, SPRING/SUMMER 2014; Vol.VI, No. 48, Pages 1, 15-21.
  2. Daniel Neil Leininger, “100 Years Ago in New York City, Relatives United to Form the Clan MacNeil Association of America.” THE GALLEY, SPRING/SUMMER 2021; Vol.VI, No. 62, Pages 14-20.
  3. Daniel Neil Leininger, “Kisimul Castle: Centennial Stories”. THE GALLEY, FALL/WINTER 2021; Vol.VI, No. 63, Pages 12-22.

Related posts:

  1. Hermon MacNeil Featured in “The Galley” (8.8) “Clan MacNeil Connections and Hermon Atkins MacNeil” The current issue…
  2. Hermon Atkins MacNeil to be featured in “The Galley” (8.7) Hermon MacNeil was the first president of the Clan MacNeil…
  3. Hermon Atkins MacNeil: BIOGRAPHY Published !!! (8) Author and historian, James E. Haas has completed  “Hermon Atkins…
  4. 2021 ~~ “MacNeil Clan of America” ~~ 100th Year ~~ “GALLEY” Celebrates (Issue Spring/Summer 2021) (7.1) Chartered in 1921 by Robert Lister MacNeil, Barra XLV, with…
  5. Hermon MacNeil Led “MacNeil Clan of America” 1928 (6.7) For more of Clan MacNeil Association of America and CELTIC…
  6. Hermon MacNeil’s bronze bust of Evangelist Dwight L. Moody (1920) ~ “We Found It, Uncle Hermon!” (5.6)   At age 78 Hermon MacNeil wrote an autobiographical sketch…

Related Images:

Christmas Eve 2024 marks the 128th Anniversary of the Wedding of the “Sculptors MacNeil.” 

On Christmas Eve 1895, Hermon Atkins MacNeil and Carol Louise Brooks were joined in marriage in Chicago. 

WE have told their wedding story here dozens of times.  

Click this LINK TO READ those many postings.

  • See their Marriage License from Christmas Eve,
  • Read their Reception Invitation from Christmas Day,
  • See WHERE the reception was Held,
  • See how the County Clerk wrote “Carol” as bride:
  • But Pastor Williams wrote “Carrie” on the license, (He knew her nickname !)
  • Read how the “News” was published in so many papers.

ITS ALL HERE on THE CHRISTMAS POSTS

at HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com/

and have yourself

a Merry, Happy, Bless-ed Christmas season

Related Images:

Comments (0)

~ MacNeil Bust Exhibited in 1984 ~

Months after we unveiled the Hermon MacNeil bust in 2021,

I received word that this unique piece

was exhibited 

ONLY ONCE in its

75 year history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1945 Jo Davidson modeled this bust of his teacher and had it cast in bronze.  It remains a UNIQUE piece ~~ meaning “one and only,

one of a kind

NO OTHER Castings

Were ever made”

This “sui generis” likeness of

Hermon Atkins MacNeil

was purchased in 2021 from the Estate of Jo Davidson through Joel Rosenkranz of Conner~Rosenkranz, of New York City.

On Fri, Jun 4, 2021, Joel sent the following:

Hi Dan –

I hope you have been well. I recently was looking through a key reference in American sculpture and came across the entry for the Davidson MacNeil which the Davidson Estate loaned to the Newark Museum many years ago for a survey exhibition on bronzes. I thought you would like to have this reference for your files.

Best,

Joel

I replied as follows:

Joel,  

We are well and entering into life and travel in more usual ways. 

Thank you for this document scan. I appreciate more history of this MacNeil bust. I will print it out and will study it over the weekend. 

It seems ironic that this little known portrait bust was used to illustrate a bio page of Jo Davidson. There are 100s of other candidates that could illustrate Jo’s life and work but his first teacher becomes the “show & tell” model for Jo Davidson’s work and style of portraits. 

I am enjoying having “Hermon” in our living room on a regular basis. I showed him to friends and posted this “icon” on my website for the world to SEE.

Greatly appreciate your continued support of my MacNeil obsession. Also, expanding my knowledge of the Davidson—MacNeil interface raises my understanding to exponential levels. >>>

“Your love and work with Beaux Arts and your “calling” with Janis to represent the Davidson Estate form a strong testimony to the love, passion, and talent of so many of these sculptors who are easily forgotten in the “modern “ era of abstractions offered as art.  (Forgive my bias to realism).”

Related posts:

  1. The Portrait “BUST” of HERMON A. MacNEIL ~ by Jo Davidson ~ Unveiled for MacNeil Month 2021 ~#5 (10.1) AT  LAST, the UNVEILING of the 75-YEAR-OLD PORTRAIT BUST OF…
  2. New Year Discovery: Another Bust by H. A. MacNeil (7.6) As we begin the New Year of 2021, we have…
  3. MacNeil Bust of Lincoln Stored in Vault (7.5) Hermon Atkins MacNeil would probably be amused to know that…
  4. Hermon MacNeil’s bust of “Lawyer Lincoln” Returns for its second century on the Illinois Circuit (7.2) Hermon MacNeil’s bronze bust of self-educated Illinois Lawyer Abe Lincoln…
  5. MacNeil’s Bust of John Stewart Kennedy ~ 100 Years Ago ~ THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY (7.1)  A BRIEF NOTE from the Webmaster:  “We did not discover…
  6. Hermon MacNeil’s bronze bust of Evangelist Dwight L. Moody (1920) ~ “We Found It, Uncle Hermon!” (6.8)  

Related Images:

Hermon MacNeil’s Commander-in-Chief

George Washington on Arch in NYC

General George Washington with Flags (U.S. and POW/MIA) ~ Washington Arch Greenwich, NYC (Photo courtesy of: Gibson Shell – 2011)

Hermon MacNeil was a Red-White-and-Blue Sculptor of American History. 

click BELOW for MORE.

 

INDEPENDENCE DAY

 

~ ~ ~ ~ 0 ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Images  of

Independence

from the sculptures of

Hermon Atkins MacNeil …

 

Happy 4th of July

from Dan Leininger, Webmaster

The Stars and Stripes fly day and night at the home of Webmaster Dan Leininger in South Dakota. They are illuminated dusk to dawn by automatic lighting. (The tie, however, only waves on special occasions like July 4th.)

 

Related posts:

  1. INDEPENDENCE DAY Images ~ from Hermon A. MacNeil (7.4) Here are a few images of  Independence from Hermon Atkins…
  2. MacNeil Month ~~ February 2016 ~~ 150 Years (6) The year 2016 marks the sesquicentennial of the birth of…
  3. Hermon MacNeil at the 1893 Columbian Exposition ~ ~ ~ THE CHICAGO YEARS ~ ~ (6) CHICAGO YEARS:  Partners and Colleagues When Hermon MacNeil came home to the…
  4. More “Confederate Defenders” Protests; AND Ten Years Ago on this Website. (6) Sunday (July 12, 2020) saw continued protest at the Confederate…
  5. Hermon MacNeil and Hamlin Garland ~ ~ Connections Through the Years – Part 3 (6) Hermon MacNeil met Hamlin Garland in Chicago. Hermon MacNeil Hermon…
  6. MacNeil’s Bust of John Stewart Kennedy ~ 100 Years Ago ~ THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY (5.8)  A BRIEF NOTE from the Webmaster:  “We did not discover…

Related Images:

Augusta Savage

As mentioned in the previous post [on May 5, 2023] Savage applied for a summer art program at the Fontainebleau School of Fine Arts in France.[9] She was accepted, BUT THEN rejected because she was BLACK.

Sculptor, Hermon Atkins MacNeil, wrote a letter of protest to W.E.B. Dubois, then Hermon invited Augusta to study with him.  She later cited Hermon as one of her teachers.”

All of that took place in 1923,

THEN, 15 YEARS Later . . . the

1939 New York World’s Fair

premiered her work —

 

“The Harp”  

 

OR

 

“Lift Every Voice and Sing”

 

Book page with photograph
An intriguing image of a sculpture from Claude McKay’s 1940 publication, Harlem: Negro Metropolisa narrative on the history of Harlem and its most notable African American residents.   The book includes photographs of works by Black artist Augusta Savage in the early 20th century. The photographic portrait of what is a likely a maquette of  the 1939 New York World’s Fair, Lift Every Voice and Sing”.

It remains a rare material artifact of a fair centerpiece since lost to time, and a clue to the importance of her high-profile commission for American culture and Black artistry.

Standing at 16 feet in height and one of only two works by African American artists featured in the exhibition, Savage’s plaster sculpture took its name from James Weldon and J. Rosamond Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a hymn of particular meaning within Black communities. Savage modeled the piece after themes found in the song—unity, perseverance through faith, and pride, all of which are reflected in her musical scene. The harp’s form is defined by a long arm and hand cradling 12 singers in choir robes, their strong stance and the folds of their garments evocative of strings. A young man kneels in the lead holding sheet music and carrying a pensive expression on his face, uplifted (we imagine) by the beautiful melody and the image the eponymous hymn’s words recall.

“The Harp,” as it became known, was a major achievement for Savage. Born Augusta Christine Fells in Green Cove, Florida, February 29, 1892, she was raised by a Methodist minister who opposed her creative interests. Over her father’s objections, Savage returned again and again to sculpture throughout her youth and—after marrying, having a child, and becoming widowed by her early 20s—committed her focus to the arts and moved to New York City with less than $5 in her pocket. Savage quickly became a recognized talent in the art world and a vocal advocate for equal rights, generating media attention when an American selection committee revoked her award of a summer study-abroad scholarship to Paris because of her race. Defying these obstacles, Savage self-funded and completed a 4-year arts degree at The Cooper Union in 3 years, fundraised for her own trips to France to exhibit at prestigious sites like the Salon d’Automne and Grand Palais, and earned an array of accolades ranging from a Carnegie Foundation travel grant to the distinction of being the only African American member admitted into the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors. By 1937, the 1939 New York World’s Fair Board of Design reached out to her with the idea of a large-scale sculpture symbolizing the legacy of African American music.

Though 44 million guests had the chance to witness and admire Savage’s triumph at the 19-month exhibition, unfortunately the work was destroyed when the fair ended, a scenario not uncommon for temporary works and pavilions. Promotional postcards and documentary photos like the one in McKay’s book, however, paint a picture of the song and sculpture’s true impact and continued resonance. Today, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is still widely celebrated as the “Black national anthem” (recently and memorably performed at “Beychella”) and metal replicas of Savage’s 1939 tribute—a testament to the inspirational power of the Black church and indomitable nature of the human spirit—are held in collections such as those of the Schomburg Center in Harlem and Columbus Museum in Georgia.

– Carlos Ascurra, FIU Humanities Edge curatorial intern

  1. “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lift_Every_Voice_and_Sing_(sculpture)#Replicas.
  2. Book page, “Sculpture by Augusta Savage, evocative of Negro music; commissioned by the New York World’s Fair,” from Harlem: Negro Metropolis,  1940  
  3. Augusta Savage (American, 1892–1962),  author
    E. P. Dutton & Company, Inc., New York City, publisher
    The Wolfsonian–FIU, Gift of Historical Design, New York City, XC2019.02.1.12
  4. The Body is Memory: An Exhibition of Black Women Artists.  Retrieved on May 1, 2023 at  [https://sites.smith.edu/afr111-f19/the-harp/ ]
  5. Claude McKay,  Harlem: Negro Metropolis, 1940.  A  narrative history of Harlem and its most notable African American residents.   The book includes photographs of works by Black artist Augusta Savage in the early 20th century.
  1.  

Related Images:

MacNeil wrote a letter in 1923 advocating for

Miss Augusta Savage

who had been denied a scholarship because of the

color of her skin.  

Augusta Savage (left) with her portrait bust of James Weldon Johnson, another Black Harlem activist/leader and supporter of Augusta Savage. c. 1920s

HER BACKGROUND

“Savage arrived in New York (in 1921) with $4.60, found a job as an apartment caretaker, and enrolled at the Cooper Union School of Art [Ironically, this was 61 years after Abe Lincoln’s famous speech at Cooper Union against the expansion of slavery]. 

She completed the four-year course at Cooper Union in just three years.

During the mid-1920s when the Harlem Renaissance was at its peak, Savage lived and worked in a small studio apartment where she earned a reputation as a portrait sculptor, completing busts of prominent personalities such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey,  [James Weldon Johnson and other NAACP leaders].

Savage was one of the first artists who consistently dealt with black physiognomy.”

Source: Smithsonian American Art Museum; https://americanart.si.edu/artist/augusta-savage-4269

In 1923, she had submitted a scholarship application to attend the inaugural artistic summer school at Fontainebleau, near Paris, France. (where Alden MacNeil would later study) 

W.E.B. DuBois, [prominent historian, sociologist, and Pan-Africanist civil rights activist] wrote a letter of support for her entry. 

Savage was awarded  a full scholarship

Unfortunately, the scholarship was  withdrawn  by the French selection committee on account of  her color reportedly, because white American students from Georgia would not share rooms with an African-American.[2] 

The rejection was reported in a number of newspapers.[2] The incident got press coverage on both sides of the Atlantic.  Since W. E. B. Du Bois had supported the application, Hermon A. MacNeil chose to write this letter. 

MacNeil was the sole member of the selection committee to disagree with the withdrawal of the scholarship. 

MacNeil began his career studying, traveling, and immersing himself in Native American culture.   Hermon one time had shared a studio in Paris with African-American artist Henry Ossawa Tanner

After writing his letter, MacNeil choose to invite Augusta Savage to study with him at the College Point studio.  Savage accepted!  Later in her life, she cited MacNeil as one of her influential teachers. 

Early Life of Augusta Savage

Augusta began making figures as a child, mostly small animals out of the natural red clay of her hometown.[2] Her father was a Methodist minister With over a dozen children.  His theology strongly opposed his daughter’s early interest in art. “My father licked me four or five times a week,” Savage once recalled, “and almost whipped all the art out of me.”[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusta_Savage

She continued to work in the US, and eventually gathered sufficient funding to study in France at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière from 1929, exhibiting at the Salon d’Automne in 1930, and at the Salon de Printemps and the Paris Colonial Exposition in 1931.[2]

 

Throughout the 1930s, Savage sculpted portrait busts of African American leaders, including NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson, who wrote the lyrics of the anthem  “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”  CLICK to hear NPRs 7 min lesson on this song.

A souvenir version of Savage’s 1939 sculpture The Harp, which was inspired by “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” 1939 World’s Fair Committee.  [See #3 below]

When the 1939 New York World’s Fair commissioned Savage to make a sculpture she produced a monumental work called Lift Every Voice and Sing.

World’s Fair officials changed the name creation to The Harp. “The strings of the harp are formed by the folds of choir robes worn by 12 African American singers,” Ikemoto explains. “Then, the soundboard of the harp is formed by the hand of God.” The singers, then, become instruments of God.  Five million visitors saw The Harp and it became one of the Fair’s most photographed objects — you can see more photos of it here.

Sixteen feet high, made of painted plaster, Ikemoto says it was destroyed — smashed by clean-up bulldozers — at the end of the fair.

Now, only pictures and many miniature souvenirs remain!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

SEE MacNeil’s 100 year old letter

with my transcription and comments BELOW

Letter from Hermon A. MacNeil to W. E. B. Du Bois

Retrieved from digitalcommonwealth.org/ on 3/23/1923. See citation below.

William E. B. DuBois

70   31th Ave
New York

My Dear Mr. Burghardt:

Yours just received regarding Miss Savage.  I have been entirely out of touch with the committee of which I am a member for several weeks as I have been more or less away and so this case of Miss Savage’s application I knew nothing about when it came up.

I am extremely sorry that a story of this kind should have gotten about as I know the gentleman of the committee are men of the broadest vision and are trying to do the very best possible.  It may be that her work was not very high in quality.  Whether that was the reason or conditions may be such for the traveling and living conditions that it would have been unpleasant for a colored person, I do not know.

Personally I have no greater joy than seeing the advancement of the colored race for I believe [in] that advancement will be the gradually era[c]ing of one of our very difficult problems here in the United States. I personally have friends of the colored blood whose friendship I prize as high as any of my associates.   In the meantime please believe me.

Sincerely yours,  H. A. MacNeil

Webmaster’s Comments:

MacNeil’s phrasing conveys the biases of white culture in phrases such as:

  • “It would have been unpleasant for a colored person” and
  • I have friends of the colored blood”

However, MacNeil was the only one sculptor taking public action and making opportunity for Augusta Savage to groom her many talents and mastery of art. 

Namely:

  1. He gave her one year of experience in his studio;
  2. Which was much more than the “summer” she sought at Fontainebleau
  3. Later in her life, she claimed Hermon MacNeil as one of her teachers
  4. MacNeil’s choices contrast those of the committee.
  5. His actions transcend the racial biases of the 1920s
  6. MacNeil’s actions speak well for his love of sculpture and teaching sculptors.

 

REFERENCE NOTES:

  1. Letter from Hermon A. MacNeil to W. E. B. Du Bois

  2. Retrieved from digitalcommonwealth.org/ on 3/23/1923. 

    [ https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search/commonwealth-oai:9s162k540 ]

  3. NPR https://www.npr.org/2019/07/15/740459875/sculptor-augusta-savage-said-her-legacy-was-the-work-of-her-students
  4. “Till Victory Is Won: The Staying Power Of ‘Lift Every Voice And Sing'”   By Claudette Lindsay-Habermann; Heard on Morning Edition;
  5. https://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/?s=Tanner

 

 

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
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