Archive for South Carolina
The “Confederate Defenders of Charleston” sculpture on Battery Point in Charleston Harbor was spray painted again on Friday, July 10th, 2015.
Police were called to White Point Gardens on a report of vandalism of the Confederate statue completed by MacNeil in 1932. The officers were met by a witness who told them he was seated on a bench 100 feet from the monument when he:
… noticed a white male jog by going east on Murray Blvd. from King Street towards East bay. A few moments later the witness noticed the same white male walking around the statue inside the railing surrounding the monument. The witness then heard a “hissing” sound and realized the man was spray painting the statue.
The suspect is described as a white male with pale skin and dark hair, possibly in his 20s to mid 30s, tall and slender. He was wearing a plain black t-shirt, black shorts, a plain black ball cap, and gold rimmed glasses.
The statue was painted with black spray paint. On the front of the statue it read, “THE CAUSE FOR WHICH THEY FOUGHT THE CAUSE OF SLAVERY WAS WRONG.” On the back it read, “TAKE DOWN THIS RACIST STATUE.” [ SOURCE: The Blaze ( http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/07/11/charleston-confederate-monument-vandalized-again-this-time-with-obama-quote/ ) ]
The new graffiti is from Obama’s eulogy of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, pastor of Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, one of nine people shot to death in the church last month.
“Removing the flag from this state’s capitol would not be an act of political correctness; it would not be an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers,” Obama said. “It would simply be an acknowledgment that the cause for which they fought — the cause of slavery — was wrong.”
Since the massacre at the historic black church, a national outcry erupted over the display of the Confederate flag and similar symbols. This week the Confederate flag at the South Carolina state capitol was taken down. [ SOURCE: The Blaze ( http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/07/11/charleston-confederate-monument-vandalized-again-this-time-with-obama-quote/ )]
Previously in June, the base of the same monument was covered with red spray-painted graffiti, declaring “Black Lives Matter” and “This is the root of our evil” on the east side.
- Confederate Defenders of Charleston -Part 2 (8)
- Confederate Defenders Statue – White Point Gardens & the Battery (8)
- MacNeil Statue will not attend Secession Gala (8)
Down the street from The Mother Emmanuel AME Church where nine members were massacred this week while worshiping God in prayer and Bible study stands the Confederate Defenders monument sculpted by Hermon MacNeil. The memorial was defaced with spray paint on Sunday.
Hermon A. MacNeil’s only Confederate monument stands on Battery Point on Charleston Harbor facing out to Fort Sumter 3 1/2 miles away where the first shots of the Civil War was fired . The monument was commissioned for this site in 1932 by The United Daughters of the Confederacy. It has stood for 83 years.
MacNeil’s design was chosen by a local monument committee over all other entries. The allegorical piece depicts the Youth of defenders and the Maternal figure of culture. The shield contains the Seal of the State of South Carolina (the first to succeed from the Union).
Succession Gala: For my own comments on a previous Confederate Celebration and remembrance see this post on this website: “MacNeil Statue will not attend Secession Gala” By (https://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/2010/12/12/macneil-statue-will-not-attend-secession-gala/)
It is unlike any other Civil War Monuments that Hermon MacNeil created. SEE the following links:
- Whitinsville, Massachusetts ( 1905 Monument to Soldiers & Sailors of the Civil War~ Whitinsville, Massachusetts );
- Albany, NY ( 1912 Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Albany,NY );
- Philadelphia Pennsylvania ( 1927 Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument ~ Philadelphia, PA );
A June 21st report by Melissa Boughton of The Post and Courrier gives the following details:
The damage was reported to police dispatchers just after 12:30 p.m. The statue was covered up by residents who wrapped a large tarp around it about 1:30 p.m.
Two signs were placed on the tarp after the graffiti was covered up. One said, “All lives matter #charlestonunited,” and the other said, “Take down racist statues.”
The incident occurred in the wake of the fatal shooting Wednesday of nine black people inside Emanuel AME Church in what police say was an attack by a white supremacist. The church held its first service since the shootings on Sunday.
The attack has led to a nationwide call for South Carolina to remove the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse grounds. At least 1,000 people gathered Saturday in Columbia to call for the flag to be taken down. Numerous petitions also call for the flag’s removal. ( http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150621/PC16/150629854/confederate-monument-a-focus-of-debate-after-graffiti-appears )
FOR MORE HISTORY on this work by HERMON MACNEIL see the following:
Hermon A. MacNeil’s “Into the Unknown” at Brookgreen Gardens is framed by this ornamental iron gate designed by Anna Hyatt Vaughn Huntington, (who studied with MacNeil and Gutzon Borglum and other American sculptors). MacNeil portrayed ‘the sculptor’ as a female figure, sheltered under the sweep of her wings, with her face turned into the block, holding a chisel in one hand and a mallet in the other, carving herself out of the stone.
Brookgreen Gardens was built on the Brookgreen Plantation at Murrells Inlet, South Carolina in 1930 by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. This 350 acre outdoor sculpture garden rests within a 9000 acre nature preserve. It provides a magnificent outdoor setting for an enduring ‘world premier’ of an American collection of 1200 unique sculpture pieces by over 400 sculptors. Coupling “Archibald Huntington’s interest in history and the classical world, with Anna Hyatt Huntington’s devotion to creatures and figures of the natural world,” this marvellous collection gathers a vast array of American figurative sculptures of nature, human figures, and animals. (Beatrice Gilman Proske, Brookgreen Gardens Sculpture. SC: Brookgreen Gardens: 1968, p. 76).
A design based on it was adopted as an emblem of the National Sculpture Society at the time of their 1923 exhibition.
In 1948, a year after MacNeil’s death, the Huntingtons obtained the MacNeil piece for Brookgreen. Today Anna’s ‘Ornamental Gate’ frames her mentor’s tribute to the Inspiration of the sculptor. In May 2012, 100 years after MacNeil’s inspiration for this work, I had the privilege of visiting the Brookgreen Gardens and gathering this story and these images for the website collection. His ageless work has now entered the digital age in this virtual gallery in his name.
[Photo credits: Taken on site by Dan Leininger, webmaster: HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com]
[For more recent news (Dec 21st) on the posting below see this link: The Star: Ball Draws Celebrators, Protestors ]
Hermon A. MacNeil’s Confederate Defenders statue may cast its shadow on upcoming Secession Gala festivities. MacNeil’s massive work stands sentry over Charleston Harbor, facing toward Ft Sumter, 3 1/2 miles away.
The South Carolina Secession Gala tickets are going quickly. We have less than one month left to attend an event that will surely be an “EVENT OF A LIFETIME”!!! You certainly won’t want to miss this wonderful event!We have a 45 minute theatrical play re-enacting the signing of the original Ordinance of Secession with Senators and famous individuals as actors in this performance. We even have President Pro-Tempore of the SC Senate, Glenn F. McConnell as Convention Chair, David F. Jamison of Barnwell.
The wonderful news is that the ORIGINAL Ordinance of Secession will be available for viewing by our guests. This is not a lithograph, but the ACTUAL document which has been protected for years in the vault and hasn’t been seen in years. Those sponsoring tables will be able to have a group photograph with all Sponsors made with the ORIGINAL ORDINANCE.
The cost includes the theatrical play, dinner and dancing. Do not wait until the last minute as tickets are going fast and there is limited seating.
The event has stirred some debate in the news locally and nationally. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-10/civil-war-s-150th-anniversary-stirs-debate-on-race.html
“It’s almost like celebrating the Holocaust,” said Benard Simelton, president of the Alabama conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “Our rights were taken away and we were treated as less than human beings. To relive that in a celebratory way I don’t think is right.”
For persons not wanting to pay $100, there are other alternatives. The state’s NAACP chapter plans a protest march and vigil outside the city-owned auditorium where the party will be held.
CLOSING COMMENT: The MacNeil Statue will not attend the Gala. It will remain in Battery Park, its home for the last 78 years. In addition, the sculpture’s attire is not proper for the dress code of the Ball. WEBMASTER
Related MacNeil Links:
A photograph of the Confederate Defenders of Charleston sculpture autographed by Hermon A. MacNeil has been purchased from the on-line inventory of Steven L. Roskins, a dealer in historic autographs in Venice, Florida. The statue, dedicated on October 20, 1932 is Located in the White Point Gardens overlooking Charleston Harbor. The statue faces toward the Ft Sumter National Park located at the mouth of Charleston Harbor about 3 1/2 miles east southeast of the MacNeil statue and White Point Gardens. The Fort was the site of the opening battle of the American Civil War on April 12-13, 1861.
The photograph is inscribed to noted American artist Charles C. Curran. He and MacNeil were Jurors in numerous art expositions through the years. Acclaimed as an painter, Curran is saluted here by MacNeil with this visual image of his own Confederate Memorial sculpture.
The photo appears to be taken in a studio (probably MacNeil’s in College Point on Long Island, New York). The backdrop is a draping. The little sentry soldier propped up at the base left seems a curious addition. Perhaps, it has some special meaning between MacNeil and Curran. We do not know. We do know that the little sleeping sentry is not part of the monument after installation in Charleston. The transport of the entire bronze piece and marble base to Charleston, SC and its subsequent installation White Point Gardens represents a monumental task as well. (See Google Map link below)
The autographed inscription at the photo bottom reads, “To Charles C. Curran – The Wise War Horse in Art. ~ H.A. MacNeil, S.C.” The photo reverse (not shown) bears MacNeil’s further handwritten notation and second signature, “Study. Defensive Monument, Sumter Park, Charleston, S.C. H.A. MacNeil, S.C. 1931.” At the center of the back is a stamped mark, “The Capitol Photo Studios, 617 – 2nd Avenue, College Point, L[ong] I[sland].”
For another unusual photo of the Statue installed at in South Carolina go to Confederate Defenders Statue – Battery Park
Visit this Sculpture by Hermon A. MacNeil
This interesting photo of a MacNeil sculpture surfaced in a recent internet search. Grandmother Starmer and her little friend ‘Flat Abby’ are pictured visiting MacNeil’s “Confererate Defenders of Charleston” monument. No photo of this sculpture has been previously posted on this website. Located in Charleston, South Carolina, this statue was completed in 1931 and dedicated in October 1932. At that time surviving Civil War Veterans would have been over 80 years of age. The location at White Point Gardens and the Battery was first used as a public garden in 1837. With the outbreak of the Civil War, it became a fortification for the city, a Battery. Today, you will also find an impressive display of weaponry used to shell and defend the city.
On a more light hearted note, We have the statue pictured with “Flat Abby” some 143 years later. According to Grandmother’s blog, “Flat Abby arrived in Charleston, SC to visit us, Grandmother and Grandfather Starmer, in late October 2004, just in time for Halloween.” The posting, they tell me, was a ‘fun project’ done six years ago for their granddaughter, Abby. The blog continues with a historical tour of Beauregard House, antebellum home of Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard and other delightful sites of the city. Grandfather and Grandmother Starmer offer a wonderful travelers guide for young and old alike in their ‘Adventures with Flat Abby’. (It is amazing what ‘grandparenting’ does to otherwise, regular human beings. – including this Webmaster). For more details and history see their blog at: http://frank.itlab.us/flat_abby/
We thank Abby’s ‘Grandfather’ (Frank Starmer) and Grandmother for permission to use their 2004 photo of this MacNeil piece. (Hermon would have smiled too!)
In coming weeks the webmaster will post another photo of this work as it was first displayed in H. A. MacNeil’s studio at College Point, Long Island, New York in 1931. More later.