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

~ This Gallery celebrates Hermon Atkins MacNeil,  of the Beaux Arts School 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 A. MacNeil.   ~ Over 200 of stories & 2,000 photos form this virtual MacNeil Gallery stretching east to west  New York to New Mexico ~ Oregon to S. Carolina.   ~ 2021 marks the 155th Anniversary of Hermon MacNeil’s birth. ~~Do you WALK or DRIVE by MacNeil sculptures DAILY!   ~~ CHECK it OUT!

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

Archive for Sculptures

All of Hermon MacNeil’s Lifeworks

enshrine the PAST.

SO… What is the Future of the Past?

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ ~

The Chicago Monuments Project

Throughout 2021 the Chicago Monuments Project  has been pursuing its Mission.  From over 500 public monuments in the City of Chicago, the Project has identified 41 for review related to the following issues:

  • Promoting narratives of white supremacy 
  • Presenting inaccurate and/or demeaning characterizations of American Indians 
  • Memorializing individuals with connections to racist acts, slavery, and genocide 
  • Presenting selective, over-simplified, one-sided views of history 
  • Not sufficiently including other stories, in particular those of women, people of color, and themes of labor, migration, and community building 
  • Creating tension between people who see value in these artworks and those who do not    [ Source: https://chicagomonuments.org/about ]

 

  The PAST is under REVIEW  


Hermon MacNeil’s

Marquette-Jolliet-Ilini Indian Memorial

is one of the 41 under review.

Webmaster, Dan Neil Leininger and Donna on their first visit to the Marquette – jolliet – Ilini monument at Marshall and Twenty-fourth Boulevard in Chicago.

A report of recommendations is expected to be released in

Summer of 2022

The Project created written introductions for each of the 41 pieces being reviewed.  MacNeil’s Jacques Marquette-Louis Jolliet Memorial is introduced as follows:

Title: Jacques Marquette-Louis Jolliet Memorial

Date: 1926

Artist:  Hermon Atkins MacNeil (1866-1947)

Location:  Marshall and 24th Blvd

Context:  As the first Europeans to explore and document the northern portion of the Mississippi, which included the river link from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi basin through what would become Chicago, French missionary Jacques Marquette and the Quebec-born cartographer Louis Jolliet, along with their Indian guides, are ubiquitous figures in the modern iconography of the founding of Chicago.

This imposing representation of Marquette and Jolliet, with a subservient American Indian at their side, was created by Hermon Atkins McNeil, the academically trained sculptor who contributed the relief sculptures of Marquette’s life to the extraordinary decorative cycle at the Marquette Building in thirty years earlier, in 1895.

Other representations of Marquette include the commemorative plaques near the site of the Damen Avenue Bridge (1930) and at the DuSable Bridge (1925), as well as on the northeast DuSable Bridge pylon (1928).

Source: Chicago Monuments Project (https://chicagomonuments.org/monuments/jacques-marquette-louis-jolliet-memorial) retrieved March 28, 2022


“Statues of Limitations:

     Jackson Healy, Staff Writer for the  The DePaulia  ~ The Student News Site of DePaul University offered an insightful article on

“Statues of limitations:

future of 41 monuments up in air

as Chicago reckons with its nation’s past”

On July 17, 2020, amid a nationwide racial reckoning triggered by the murder of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a violent clash between police and protesters broke out after the protesters attempted to topple the city’s statue of Christopher Columbus in Grant Park, resulting in 12 arrests and at least 18 injured officers.

One week later, the statue was “temporarily” removed at Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s discretion, and on August 12, the mayor’s office announced a citywide review of public monuments through what would become known as the Chicago Monuments Project.

The project consists of a 30-person advisory committee made up of city officials, artists, scholars, curators, architects and community leaders dedicated to assessing the city’s public works. The committee gathers input from community members and eventually will release a report with recommendations on how the city should handle its more controversial monuments, as well as a list of potential new monuments that could be commissioned.

[ For entire article CLICK HERE: ]

 

 

MacNeil’s depiction of Marquette has the priest with an inviting open right hand as his left hand holds out a crucifix above his heart.  Their (Ilini) Indian guide looks on in seeming fascination.

MacNeil’s Marquette-Jolliet-Illini Memorial

“Whether they’re made

of bronze or marble,

apparently not all of Chicago’s monuments

are set in stone.”

Statues of limitations

We eagerly await the Chicago Monument Project

report scheduled to be released Summer of 2022.

Cecelia W. Muench MacNeil

In 1944 Carol Louise Brooks MacNeil died after extended illness. 

During her months of declining health, she was nursed at home by her family and a home health nurse named, Cecelia Weick Muench, RN. 

Cecelia MacNeil, RN (1945). Born Cecelia Weick in 1897. She served as a nurse in WWI in the European theater. She married Karl Weick in about 1920.

Cecelia Weick had served in the US Army as a battlefield Nurse during the World WarCaring for wound soldiers in war zones during WWI, she was no stranger to trauma and suffering.

As a young girl, her father taught her to appreciate art and took her to museums.  He introduced her to “The Sun Vow” at the MMA.  He told her that Hermon MacNeil was a “great American sculptor”. So she knew the name and fame of the Sculptors Macneil all her adult life.

So when an opportunity came for Cecelia to enter the MacNeil home and care for Carol during her dying months, she was more than just “another nurse.”  She was a battle-hardened R.N. who could appreciate the works and careers of these two sculptors as their lives were parting in the months of Carol’s dying. 

She must have brought a nurse’s compassion and an art lovers appreciation with her into this family of sculptors.

In her later years, Cecelia described herself by saying:

“I am familiar, too familiar, with death and dying, with the totality that is the human condition.” 1

She had a front row seat to Hermon’s lived-grief over the loss of his “Carrie.”  But as Carol’s condition worsened, the needs exceeded the home-care options of the day.  She was admitted to the Jamacia (Queens) Hospital.

Eventually, Carol Brooks MacNeil died there on June 22, 1944.

With the death of Carol MacNeil on June 22, 1944, the fifty-year partnership of the “Sculptors MacNeil” ended.  Their connection which began in the “White City” of the Chicago Worlds Fair, continued through their years of training in Rome and Paris, maturing in Queens, NY, during the four decades they shared their College Point Studio and home.

For the next two years Hermon MacNeil continued to live alone in his College Point home.   Next door was to the stone Studio building where he and Carol had sculpted together through the years of their marriage.   Hermon must have felt an emptiness without Carol in his life, home and studio.

Postcard of MacNeil studio in College Point. From the webmaster’s collection.

Two 2nd Marriages

Hermon married Cecilia W. Muench in 1945.  Cecelia was nearly 30 years younger than Hermon.  Both of them had been recently widowed.

After serving in the World War, Cecelia Muench had married and continued her career as a RN.  In 1940 a snapshot of her life was captured in the 1940 U.S. Census.  She was 43 years old living in Queens, New York, with Karl, her husband, two daughters, Dorothy (18), Sarah (17) and a son, Karl (13).   Her mother, Anna Weick also lived with the family. 

Cecilia Weick first heard the name of “Hermon Atkins MacNeil” in 1909 on her 12th birthday.  To celebrate, her father took her to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Ascending into the American Wing, they sat down on a bench near MacNeil’s sculpture group of “The Sun Vow.”  After at least five minutes of silence my father commented.

“Ceil, the man who created this work is surely one of the greatest American Sculptors. Never, never forget his name.”

I am still a romantic.  My father’s words were to be part of my destiny.  37 years later I married Hermon Atkins MacNeil.

The photo on the cover shows the original plaster model of Hermon Atkins MacNeil’s “The Sun Vow”, executed in Rome while the sculptor was on a Reinhart scholarship.

Cecelia told this story of her 12th birthday in opening paragraphs of an article that she published in 1974, under the title, “Sculptor Americanus: Hermon Atkins MacNeil.” 1 Two additional articles completed the series of her remembrances.

Sculptor Americanus

MORE from this series of articles by Cecelia Weick MacNeil will be told in …

— February 2022 —

“MacNeil Month”

So return

here

to

 

https://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/

for

MORE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SOURCES:

  1. Cecelia MacNeil with Dr. Allen Nestle. “Sculptor Americanus: Hermon Atkins MacNeil”.   (First in a Series of Three), The Antiques Journal, April 1974,  pp. 10-13, 54.
  2. Lynn H. Burnett. (Editor’s Comments:)“Hermon Atkins MacNeil in Historical Perspective”.  The Antiques Journal April 1974, pp. 4, 5, 48.
  3. Cecelia MacNeil with Dr. Allen Nestle. “Sculptor Americanus: Hermon Atkins MacNeil”.   (Second in a Series of Three), The Antiques Journal, May 1974,  pp. 28-31.
  4. Cecelia MacNeil with Dr. Allen Nestle. “Sculptor Americanus: Hermon Atkins MacNeil”.   (Third in a Series of Three), The Antiques Journal, June 1974,  pp. 32-35, 51.
  5.  

 

Out of public view, deep in the archives of the Chicago Art Institute rests a 127 year old bust of Charles F. Browne,  American artist.

Cast in Bronze with a dark brown patina, the piece is signed on pedestal; “MacNeil ’94” / “American Art Bronze Foundry. J. Berchem. / Chicago”

Charles Francis Browne, MacNeil Colleague and American Artist.

The subject was Hermon MacNeil’s colleague, frontier traveling companion, and studio mate in their Marquette Building studio.  The piece came out of their years in Chicago after the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

The archival piece enters its third century of history “OFF VIEW” at the archives of  the Art Institute of Chicago.  Here we offered it exclusively to You, —“Friends of Hermon Atkins MacNeil”  —  & followers of ‘HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com’.   ENJOY !!

1895.   With Hamlin Garland as their guide, the pair rode by train and horse back to the south west territories of the Navajo, Hopi, (Moqui). MacNeil recalled years later, “We found Indians a plenty and perhaps because I was keenly interested in them I was in heaven and I flared to a high pitch, working from sunrise to dark. …”

“Browne painted murals for the Children’s Building at the World’s Columbian Exposition and became an instructor at the Art Institute of Chicago’s rapidly growing school.” 2

Hamilin Garland and Browne were “double” brothers-in-law having married sisters of Lorado Taft, the chief sculptor of the Exposition. Taft was the brother of both of their wives.  They all along with MacNeil were part of the Eagles Nest, a summer artist  colony in Oregon, Illinois.  Browne was a founder of the summer group.

Portrait of Charles F. Browne by H. A. MacNeil 1894. Art Institute of Chicago. [Signed on pedestal; “MacNeil ’94” / “American Art Bronze Foundry. J. Berchem. / Chicago”] 1

The adventure in the Summer of 1895 shaped the lives of all three men, but especially MacNeil who evolved an enduring interest in the Native American Indian as a subject of Beaux Arts sculpture.  

The dating of the bust of C. F. Browne precedes their venture to the Southwest Territory but documents the shared years of their early careers in the 19th century.  

Writing in 1943, MacNeil recalls these years in Chicago:

“I took a small studio in Chicago and tried to see if I could make a go of it. C. F. Browne, painter, was also stranded there and I invited him to share a studio with me. During that year (evenings) I was asked to teach sculpture and drawing in the school of the Art Institute and also had the good fortune to have four bas-reliefs to do illustrating the life of Pere Marquette.”  [ MacNeil, Autobiography

MacNeil’s four bas-reliefs of the life of Pere Marquette still make frame the four-door entrance of the building

The Marquette Building panels after cleaning efforts several years ago sparkle with history and beauty at the 140 South Dearborn Street entrance.

Chicago Architecture celebrated the building renovation and mentioned the 126 year old sculpture panels”

“At the main entrance are four bronze relief sculptures by Hermon A. MacNeil illustrating Father Marquette and Louis Joliet’s travels. They depict the pair launching their canoes, meeting Native Americans, arriving at the Chicago River, and interring Marquette’s body. On the revolving doors are kick plates with tomahawks and push plates with panther heads designed by Edward Kemeys (of the Art Institute lions fame). The vestibule features French and Catholic motifs like fleurs-de-lis and the cross.” 

~ ~ ~ ~  Chicago Art Institute Notations for this work ~ ~ ~ ~

Portrait of Charles F. Browne by H. A. MacNeil 1894.

Portrait of Charles Francis Browne.  Date: 1894
Artist: Hermon Atkins MacNeil.  American, 1866–1947
ABOUT THIS ARTWORK:  Currently Off View

SOURCES:

  1. Art Institute of Chicago. Portrait of Charles Frances Brown by Hermon MacNeil.    https://www.artic.edu/artworks/102974/portrait-of-charles-francis-browne
  2. See Also:  M Christine Schwartz Collection.  https://schwartzcollection.com/artist/charles-francis-browne/

 

 Hermon MacNeil’s “Chief Manuelito” has returned home. He has a completely restored look and frame. 

[CLICK Next arrows below >> to View 10 more Photos]

Manuelito-0-native-American-plaster-sculpture-after-conservation-768x1024

Picture 1 of 10

MacNeil’s original 1895 Chief Manuelito as he rested above the doors of C.N. Cotton’s Trading Post in Gallup, New Mexico

During his 127 years of standing in Gallup, New Mexico, MacNeil’s 8’4″  cement constructed “Chief” was: 

Chief Manuelito of the Navajo (circa 2003)

  • Commissioned by trader, C. N. Cotton,
  • Sculpted under a tent cover in the desert,
  • Sculpted of cement,
  • Built around a wood and wire armature,
  • Wrapped in the colors of the Chief’s blanket,
  • Standing above the entrance of the trading post,
  • Weather-beaten,
  • Sun-baked,
  • Often repainted,  
  • Moved awkwardly,
  • Visited by Navajo Elders and young children,
  • Becoming an icon of the Navajo people,
  • Hidden from sale to a grocery conglomerate,
  • Stored in a warehouse by the Cotton family,
  • Donated to McKinley County, N.M. at age 115 years,
  • Approved for restoration with County funds,
  • Professionally restored by EVERGREENE Architectural Arts,
  • The new centerpiece of the Courthouse Annex,
  • Given a new century as an “Icon” on the people of Gallop, N.M. 

    Evergreene Arts employee patiently restoring Hermon MacNeil’s 1895 desert figure of Chief Manuelito.

    MacNeil’s “Chief Manuelito of the Navajo” as restored by McKinley County for new Courthouse Annex.

MacNeil sculpted a cement statue of Chief Manuelito for trader C. N. Cotton under a tent in the dessert. His subsequent sculptures of Native Americans after that summer of 1895 continued his cultural interest.  That fascination began with his friendship and sculpting of Black Pipe, the Sioux warrior. He first met Black Pipe at the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.  The Sioux modeled for MacNeil and later worked in his studio for over a year before MacNeil’s trip with Garland.

AN AMAZING STORY OF RESTORATION:

EVERGREENE Architectural Arts of Brooklyn N.Y. is the enterprise that restored this piece.  Their story of this project with photos of the elements of the project are duplicated here from their website. 1


Chief Manuelito Sculpture

City Hall, Gallup, NM

Chief Manuelito served as an important Navajo leader in the mid-19th century against the encroachment of the U. S. Government. Kit Carson’s scorched earth campaign left many native people starving though until they were forced to turn themselves in. Throughout this period, Manuelito led attacks and remained among the last to surrender. He remained a popular leader, advocating for perseverance in the native culture and advancement through education. He is represented here by the artist Hermon Atkins MacNeil, who created several other notable sculptures of Native American subjects and themes.

The Chief Manuelito sculpture was created using wood, plaster, and paint. Past cleaning efforts had caused significant damage. Cracks in the gypsum and plaster layers were associated with the movement of the wooden armature. The sculpture had areas of loss, and areas of visible previous repairs.

We were contracted to perform the sculptures’s plaster and paint conservation treatment. After the condition assessment, paint samples were collected and investigated to develop the earliest color compositions, likely paint scheme, and pattern of the blanket. Treatment of the sculpture itself proceeded in three parts: structural stabilization and integration of new base and support components, consolidation and repair of deteriorated decorative plasterwork, and paint removal along with repainting where needed. We also provided guidance for the display of the sculpture, and a maintenance plan for its continued preservation.  SOURCE: EVERGREENE Architectural Arts


FOOTNOTES:

  1. Restorationhttps://evergreene.com/projects/chief-manuelito-sculpture/
  2. History of Manuelito, Navajo Chief.  Read more at: https://www.aaanativearts.com/manuelitio-navajo

Archive for October, 2011 posting on Manuelito’s return

GOOD NEWS !   SURPRISE ~ Hermon MacNeil’s Chief Manuelito is back!

Yesterday’s post about MacNeil and Manuelito generated considerable interest and news from Gallup, NM.

Carolyn Milligan saw our Native American Day story and responded:

“The restored Manuelito has been installed.  Early tomorrow I’ll see and visit him. There are a few details to conclude but I will send you images of the restoration. Manuelito[‘s]  dignity and presence have been skillfully restored. You will be pleased with the result.”   … Give me a few days to reply to you and to send you images of Manuelito installed in his new location. You will then have before and after images of Manuelito to include on your website.

Artist Julian Scott’s portrait of Manuelito‑ Chief of the Navajos  [Source: americangallery.wordpress.com]

In his seventy-five years of life, the Chief was driven, accused, abused, enraged, betrayed, wise, proud and a thousand other emotions that a leader might feel in a war of cultures.  All these experiences exacted a price from his life and energy.   

Harrison Lapahle’s website offers a brief history of Manuelito.  He describes the warrior’s closing years with a sorrow and painful candor that recalls the similar sorrow of his Navajo Nation. 

“He spent the last ten years of his life unhappy, certain that he had done the wrong thing by encouraging education, and by taking back all the livestock stolen by the young raiders of the tribe. Whisky was small comfort for his misery, but he drank it anyway. All around him his people still believed his words “Education is the ladder,” and they sent more and more of their children to school. They followed Manuelito even though he refused to lead them any longer.

A delegation of Navajo representatives who traveled to Washington, D.C., in 1874 to discuss the provisions of the 1868 treaty with President Ulysses S. Grant. The delegation consisted of (left to right, front row): Carnero Mucho, Mariano, Juanita (Manuelito’s wife), Manuelito, Manuelito Segundo, and Tiene-su-se Standing: “Wild” Hank Sharp (Anglo), Ganado Mucho, Barbas Hueros, Agent Arny, Kentucky Mountain Bill (Anglo), Cabra Negra, Cayatanita, Narbona Primero, and Jesus Arviso, interpreter.

He was a disheartened man, seventy-five years old in 1893, when he became very ill. Measles and then pneumonia brought the weakened old man to his deathbed.

In his fever, the years seemed to fade as he watched the sunlight play in small patches on the hogan wall. He saw the faces around him, his friends and family. He thought he heard Zarcillos Largos say, “Come, on the path of beauty you will restore your strength.” Manuelito closed his eyes in peace.

His death saddened many Navajos who had found strength in his strength. But his life had given his people a new trail to follow, and they walked it proudly, as Manuelito had walked.”  [ http://www.lapahie.com/manuelito.cfm ]

A wonderful surprise!  We await the return of the Chief to Gallup.

Seeing Chief Manuelito with his ‘dignity’ back, will prepare us all for the 21st Century.   

Uncle Hermon would smile.

 
 
 
NOTES:
  1. History of Manuelito, Navajo Chief.  Read more at: https://www.aaanativearts.com/manuelitio-navajo
  2. Navajo Chief Manuelito (1818–1893) was one of the principal war chiefs of the Diné people before, during and after the Long Walk Period. His name means Little Manuel in Spanish.
  3. As any Navajo, he was known by different names depending upon context. He was known as Ashkii Diyinii (Holy Boy), Dahaana Baadaané (Son-in-Law of Late Texan), Hastiin Chʼilhaajiní (“Black Weeds”) and as Nabááh Jiłtʼaa (War Chief, or Warrior Grabbed Enemy) to other Diné. After his first battle at age 17, he was given the name Hashkeh Naabaah, meaning Angry Warrior.
  4. Read more at: https://www.aaanativearts.com/manuelitio-navajo
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Categories : Location, New Mexico, Statue
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ART OF ALL ARTS – (ARS ARTIUM OMNIUM) ~ Saint Louis Art Museum ~ MacNeil’s Center Panel above the Main Entrance

“ART OF ALL ARTS”

was Hermon A. MacNeil’s Centerpiece panel above the entrance to the Museum of Fine Arts at the

1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
In 1913 a permanent reconstruction was made as the

Saint Louis Art Museum.

“Dedicated to Art and Free to All”

The SLAM Website comments: “Ironically, the most inconspicuously placed of MacNeil’s sculptures for the fair has become his most enduring contribution to the Art Museum. Ars Artium Omnium, or The Art of All Arts, is a series of three panels above the doorways of the Museum’s north facade. Originally crafted in plaster, it was later carved in stone and given a gold mosaic background thanks to funds provided by the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company of 1913.” [https://www.slam.org/blog/the-art-of-all-arts/ ]

 

The MacNeil sculpture above the main entrance of the Saint Louis Art Museum is a fine example of the Beaux Arts style of World Fairs of this era. (http://www.slam.org/).

 

The Figure of Beauty is enshrined in the center panel is adored by the figures in the other panels left and right.

The Saint Louis Art Museum website states in Collections, St. Louis Connections :

Hermon A. MacNeil (circa 1907)

Hermon A. MacNeil was an up-and-coming younger American sculptor at the time of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904. At the fair, his Fountain of Liberty and four other sculpture groups were placed along the Main Cascade. Three additional MacNeil works were much admired inside the Fines Arts Palace, now known as the Saint Louis Art Museum’s Sculpture Hall.

Ironically, the most inconspicuously placed of MacNeil’s sculptures for the fair has become his most enduring contribution to the Art Museum. Ars Artium Omnium, or The Art of All Arts, is a series of three panels above the doorways of the Museum’s north facade. Originally crafted in plaster, it was later carved in stone and given a gold mosaic background thanks to funds provided by the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company of 1913.

In the right hand-panel the figures of architecture and the allied arts; Ceramic and the kneeling figure typifying the discovery of the beauty from the earth.

Hermon A. MacNeil, American (1866-1947); Ars Artium Omnium (The Art of All Arts), 1914; stone relief panels with gold mosaic; Saint Louis Art Museum, Gift of Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company 158:1913

Ars Artium Omnium draws from a familiar series of motifs based on ancient and Renaissance art. In MacNeil’s own words:

In regard to an interpretation of the bas-relief of the facade of the City Art Museum, the attempt was made to produce a figure of beauty, as the central figure in the milled panel – “an apotheosis” – if you will, enshrined. On either side of her (is) St. Louis – with the city seal – out of her abundance, paying homage to the beauty… On the right, you have allegorical figures representing Sculpture, Painting, Music, and the fourth figure introduced (that could) go by any name… On the opposite side are the figures of architecture and the allied arts; Ceramic and the kneeling figure typifying the discovery of the beauty oftentimes dug from the earth that has been produced in past ages. You will notice in the grouping (that) the two side panels lead toward the central figure.

“Dedicated to Art and Free to All” are the words above MacNeil’s three Panels at Saint Louis Art Museum entrance

Related posts:

  1. MacNeil Sculpture “Meets Me in St. Louis” (7) On a recent trip to Saint Louis, Missouri to visit…
  2. Expositions and World’s Fairs ~ Hermon A. MacNeil (7) The Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries were filled with hundreds…
  3. 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition ~ ~ Saint Louis World’s Fair (7)   The 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition ~ St. Louis World’s…
  4. SUPREME COURT – Arrival at last! (6) “Slow but steady wins the race.”  So said Aesop in…
  5. “Jo and Hermon” ~~ The Wanderer and The Monument Maker ~~ Story # 2: MacNeil Month 2021 ~~ (6) ~ JO Davidson  ~ Adventurer  ~ ~ Hermon MacNeil ~ .
 

Judge Thomas Burke Monument, Seattle, Washington by Hermon A. MacNeil


1930 ~ Judge Thomas Burke Memorial by MacNeil

In February 1886, Judge Thomas Burke addressed an angry mob rioting against Chinese immigrants. 

(The Judge’s public appeal occurred in the same year that MacNeil was being born over 3,000 miles away in Everett, Massachusetts), [ 135 years later, Anti-Asian bigotry and Violence against Asians appear to be nothing new . ]

“Judge Thomas Burke played a key role in calming Seattle during the anti-Chinese riots, which occurred in February 1886. Addressing a hostile audience, Burke called upon his considerable stump speaking abilities — one commentator said the Burke “had the golden gift of eloquence which has been likened to that of Patrick Henry” — to point out that minority rights must be respected. Burke also told his listeners that they should be concerned with the city’s reputation. The riots were settled by cooler heads and by the intervention of the 14th U.S. Infantry.” [Source: Thomas Burke (railroad builder)]

Forty-four years later,

Hermon A. MacNeil

was commissioned to sculpt a fitting memorial to this heroic, civic pioneer of Seattle, Washington. 

The Memorial to Judge Thomas Burke (designed in partnership with famous architect Carl F. Gould* also an 1898-1903 student at École des Beaux Arts in Paris) exhibits MacNeil’s classic Beaux Arts design and allegorical figures. 

Beneath the bronze bas relief of  Burke’s profile, the engraved stone pilaster  reads:  “Patriot, Jurist, Orator, Friend, Patron of Education, First of every Movement for the Advancement of the City and State, Seattle’s Foremost and Best Beloved Citizen.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judge Thomas Burke

1930 ~  Thomas Burke

          — Remembered as a Railroad Builder

“Burke came to Seattle in 1875 and formed a law partnership with John J. McGilvra; he soon married McGilvra’s daughter Caroline.[2] He established himself as a civic activist: one of his first projects was to raise funds for a planked walkway from roughly the corner of First and Pike (now site of Pike Place Market) through Belltown to Lake Union.[7]

Cartoon of Thomas Burke, railroad man

He served as probate judge 1876-1880[8] and as chief justice of the Washington Territorial Supreme Court in 1888.[3]

“Irish as a clay pipe,”[9] and well liked by early Seattle’s largely Irish working class, as a lawyer Burke was well known for collecting large fees from his wealthy clients and providing free legal services for the poor.  [Source: Thomas Burke (railroad builder)]

With a open-heart for the poor and immigrants, Thomas Burke rose not only in the legal profession, but also as a probate judge and later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Washington Territory.  He remained a civic and national leader until his dying breathe at age 76.

“Thomas Burke collapsed on December 4, 1925, while addressing the board of the Carnegie Endowment in New York City. Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University, caught him as he fell. He wrote that Burke died “in the midst of an eloquent and unfinished sentence which expressed the high ideals of international conduct.”  [Source: Thomas Burke (railroad builder)]

Thomas Burke – – – A man well remembered (Obituary HERE)

Hermon MacNeil – – – A Sculptor of Memorials

Related posts:

  1. MacNeil’s ~ Thomas Burke Monument ~ 1929 (6)   Judge Thomas Burke Monument Seattle, Washington ~ Volunteer Park…
  2. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ~~~ has DIED this evening! (5) Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died.  She was the first Jewish…
  3. Happy Birthday Mr. Lincoln! ~ MacNeil’s Sculpture Released from Vault ~ MacNeil Month #4 (4)   Abe Lincoln will be a little late for his…
  4. Presidents Day 2020 ~~ MacNeil Month ~~ Wm. McKinley ~~ Abe Lincoln ~~ Geo. Washington ~~ “THEY ARE ALL THERE” — H.A MacNeil’s Sculptures of 3 Presidents ~~ (4)  “They are still there” celebrates several re-visits and discoveries of…
  5. “Confederate Defenders Monument” Spray Painted on May 30, 2020. (4)     May 30, 2020; Six Weeks ago the “Confederate…
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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