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 bas relief

PAN                                              MINERVA

 Two bas relief panels by Hermon A. MacNeil have been discovered.  PAN on the left – MINERVA on the right.

They have remained virtually hidden for  over 100 years.

Their original installation and images are verified, but their continued deposition as of 2021 remains uncertain.

The above article from 1916 accompanied the the photos of Pan and Minerva in The International Studio, Vol 59, p LVIII.

Hermon A. MacNeil sculpted these bas reliefs over  a century ago.  Documentation of Pan and Minerva has appeared in recent searches by the webmaster.  

Information discovered in recent weeks include:

  • A Pair of Bas-reliefs of PAN and MINERVA
  • Material: 2 terra cotta reliefs
  • Dimensions: 2 1/2 feet by 4 feet
  • Mr. Hill Tolerton, Owner
  • William C. Hays, Architect
  • Location: 540 Sutter St., San Francisco
  • Building originally designed as an Art establishment
  • Made in Italian Renaissance style with an  upper mezzanine level
  • Adjoining Courtyard patterned after that of the Italian Building in the late Pan-Pacific Exposition  of 1915
  • The 2 reliefs no longer appear on the face of the building as was the stated design. [SEE Google street PHOTO included  below of 540 Sutter Street today]
  • The above images are the only record of the MacNeil work presently found.  Other evidence may be uncovered in subsequent searches.

Mr. Tolerton wanted the facade of his new Art Gallery on Sutter Street in San Francisco ornamented by two “sculptured placques”.  He commissioned MacNeil, a sculptor of the Pan Pacific Exposition of 1915, to make these reliefs of Pan and Minerva to grace his new Art building.

One of Pan the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature of mountain wilds, rustic music and impromptus, and companion of the nymphs. He has the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat, in the same manner as a faun or satyr.

The other of Minerva the goddess of wisdom, war, art, schools, and commerce. She was the Etruscan counterpart to Greek Athena.

THESE TWO ICONS MARKED TOLERTON’S NEW BUILDING AS AN ART CENTER.  [ They do not appear in the street photo captured below from 2020 ]

No trace of the MacNeil bas relief panels of Pan and Minerva at 540 Sutter Street, San Francisco in this 2020 street photo via Google maps. Perhaps they were originally in the space high above the doorway and window a century ago in what now appears as stucco finish.  SO, … PAN & MINERVA still remain hidden in the 21st century — if they still exist at all!

SOURCES:

  1. “Two Bas Reliefs by Hermon A. MacNeil”, The International Studio, Ed: Charles Holmes, et. al. Vol.59, p. lviii.  from Google Books on 1/3/2021 at https://books.google.com/books?id=q09aAAAAYAAJ&pg=PR58&dq=Pan+Minerva+san+francisco+Mr.+Hill+Tolerton+1916&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiWheuZtYPuAhVWZc0KHWyZDScQ6AEwAHoECAMQAg#v=onepage&q=Pan%20Minerva%20san%20francisco%20Mr.%20Hill%20Tolerton%201916&f=false
  2. “A New San Francisco Gallery”, American Art News.  Vol. XIV, No. 33, New York, May 20, 1916. p. 1.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died. 

She was the first Jewish female, AND only

the second woman, ever to be confirmed onto the

US Supreme Court.

– – – – – – –

One year before her birth,

Hermon Atkins MacNeil

sculpted the East Pediment of the

Supreme Court Building

with Moses, the Jewish Lawgiver as its central figure.

“JUSTICE THE GUARDIAN OF LIBERTY”   Hermon A. MacNeil’s sculptures of Moses, Confucius, and Solon on the East Pediment of the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.

Ruth Bader was born while MacNeil created his design.

MacNeil started the East Pediment in 1932.

Ginsburg was born on March 15, 1933

The Pediment with Moses as its center was finished in 1934.

On August 10, 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg took

her Oath as a US Supreme Court Justice

NOW, 27 years later, she has died.

She shaped the LAW

for generations of American Citizens.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Justice Ginsburg

Throughout her lifetime, she was a brilliant servant of gender equality and of minority rights. 

She knew what it was to be discriminated against as a woman, as a mother, and as a lawyer.

She fought gender discrimination whether it affected women or men.

All these obstacles only served to make her a fierce advocate, a potent judge, and a voice to be heard. 

Though diminutive, she became a giant on the court. 

Her opinions were cogent and powerful, whether in the majority or voicing a minority opinion. 

She was also the “first Jewish female” to sit on this supreme bench.

  Moses, Confucius, Solon East Pediment of Supreme Court Building – Washington D.C.

“JUSTICE THE GUARDIAN OF LIBERTY

is the title under MacNeil’s work on the  East Pediment.

MacNeil’s ‘Tortoise’ on the north corner of his east pediment sculpture

MacNeil’s ‘Hare’ on south corner of east Pediment sculpture.

The first and the eleventh figures at either end of MacNeil’s grouping of “Justice the Guardian” are a Hare and a Tortoise  that bring to mind Aesop’s Fable that wisely reminds us that:

“Slow and steady wins the Race.”

It is a moral that RBG took as a legal strategy

MAY JUSTICE CONTINUE TO PREVAIL …

… even if slow and steady …

MacNeil didn’t intend his sculptures to have religious connotations. Explaining his work, MacNeil wrote, “Law as an element of civilization was normally and naturally derived or inherited in this country from former civilizations. The ‘Eastern Pediment’ of the Supreme Court Building suggests therefore the treatment of such fundamental laws and precepts as are derived from the East.”  ( http://architecture.about.com/od/greatbuildings/ss/SupremeCourt_7.htm )

Shocked Mourners gather in honor of the Life of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg moments after her passing

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

Mary Lawrence was a talented sculptor.  All that is left of her work in the 1893 World’s Fair are the pictures, as depicted below.

“Christopher Columbus” by Mary Lawrence at the World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893, Chicago, Illinois

She became one of The White Rabbits along with Carol (Carrie) Brooks (MacNeil) and numerous other “women assistants” to Lorado Taft and other male sculptors.  They helped create “the White City” as the 1893 Chicago Worlds Fair was known. The material was temporary, made of staff plaster, and modeled on wooden and medal frameworks.  The elegance of the White City inspired 

Lawrence was a pupil of Augustus Saint Gaudens at the Art Students League of New York for five years.  In that period, she proved her skills many times over. 

In the Chicago exhibition, her work with the White Rabbits was overpowered by an accomplishment central to the Court of Honor.

Saint Gaudens’ recommended that she create the theme statue of the exposition, namely, the monumental center-piece of Christopher Columbus. 1 This work was to be placed in the Court of Honor at the entrance of the Administration Building. 

Frank Millet, who served as Director of Decorations, resented that a woman “had been selected, and seemed to bear her some personal animus as well.” 2   Seeing the piece put on such a prominent place, he ordered her to move the statue to the plaza of the railroad station. Lawrence complied even though Charles F. McKim, architect for Exposition, had told to place the work at that location.  His authority to do so was second only to Daniel Burnham, the Chief Coordinating Architect.

She approached McKim a second time to tell him of the change.  He had the statue returned to the Court of Honor at the Administration Building entrance.  McKim worked with Augustus Saint Gaudens on many projects.  He was introduced to Mary Lawrence by Saint Gaudens as they collaborated in New York on early plans for the Exposition in Chicago.

Though McKim was twenty years senior to Mary Lawrence, Bruce Wilkinson describes their relationship in this way:

“Her good looks and high spirits made her popular with the young and the not so young.  Charles Follen McKim, whose second wife had died tragically after one short idyllic year, fell in love with her and remained a little so all the rest of his crowded life.”

Kim, Burnham, and especially, Lorado Taft were open to women as students and sculptors. Their show of support in the White Rabbitsdecision advanced opportunities for women for years to come. 

Janet Scudder (1869-1940) was one of Taft’s students who described her own the joy filled elation and that of her White-Rabbit-sisters in the following way:

“Janet describes working under Loredo as “That wonderful year! Filled with work, filled with accomplishment and filled with what was considered in those days a very fat salary!”[2] The salary was so large that, upon being paid, “We rushed back to our rooms at the hotel, opened the envelopes and poured out the five-dollar bills (for some reason we were paid our hundred and fifty dollars in five-dollar bills,) and carpeted the floor with them. We wanted to see what it felt like to walk on money.” [3] 3

The Joy of the “White Rabbits” changed their lives and the future of sculpture.

Women and men working on figures for the East entrance to the Horticulture Building in Taft’s section of the World’s Columbian Exposition. Chicago History Museum Images. SOURCE: [ At: https://discoverherstory.wordpress.com/2018/01/08/white-rabbits-american-women-sculptors/ on March 1, 2019.]

 

Footnotes:

  1. White City

    Most of the buildings of the fair were designed in the neoclassical architecture style. The area at the Court of Honor was known as The White City. Façades were made not of stone, but of a mixture of plaster, cement, and jute fiber called staff, which was painted white, giving the buildings their “gleam”. Architecture critics derided the structures as “decorated sheds”. The buildings were clad in white stucco, which, in comparison to the tenements of Chicago, seemed illuminated. It was also called the White City because of the extensive use of street lights, which made the boulevards and buildings usable at night.
  2. Bruce Wilkinson, Uncommon Clay: The Life and Works of Augustus Saint Gaudens. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, Orlando, Florida, 1985, p. 249
  3. Ibid.
  4. Janet Scudder: “White Rabbits: American Women Sculptors”. [ At: https://discoverherstory.wordpress.com/2018/01/08/white-rabbits-american-women-sculptors/ on March 1, 2019.]

 

BLACK PIPE in 14 stories  

 A never before seen or documented bronze piece from Hermon MacNeil’s earliest years as a sculptor has surfaced through a recent email message. The surprise came the other day to the website as a one line description and a surprising question.

“Black Pipe the Sioux” a small 6″ high, bas relief with the initials H M. 94.  
Can you tell me more about Black Pipe?”

Carol Miles

The request came from Massachusetts not far from where Hermon MacNeil was born and grew up in Chelsea (Everett, Malden). It included this photo:    

Thus began an email correspondence with Carol Miles that linked Hermon Atkins MacNeil (1866-1947) with Henry Turner Bailey (1865-1931).

Link #1: Henry Turner Bailey — Both Bailey and MacNeil graduated of Massachusetts Normal Art School. They were classmates for at least three years until MacNeil graduated in 1886 followed by Bailey in 1887. Both began studies there in their late teen years.

According to Carol: “Henry became the first Supervisor of Drawing for the State of Massachusetts, and later Dean of the Cleveland School of Art. Henry’s papers are housed at the Univ. of Oregon Archives, Eugene. There is correspondence between the two men there.”

Link #2: Black Pipe sculpture –This bas relief of Black Pipe was acquired by Henry Turner Bailey, the grandfather of the current owner. It has been handed down through the family ever since.

I have found no previous mention or photo of this piece. I have seen another photo of a different sculpture of Black Pipe by MacNeil in the Smithsonian Institute collections online

MacNeil’s bronze of Black Pipe, a Sioux warrior he befriended in 1893 (source Smithsonian Archives)

 

 

( http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=MacNeil&start=20 ).

The story of Black Pipe is told in dozens of stories on this site.  A search brings up 14 posts that can be viewed at this link.  Only six stories appear on each page. Be sure to view all three pages. 

BLACK PIPE link — BLACK PIPE in 14 STORIES

https://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/?s=Black+Pipe

:::::

The Smithsonian Collestions data base offers the following info on the photo of Black Pipe.   See:  [ http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=MacNeil&start=20 ]

The Soiux Brave Blackpipe [sculpture] / (photographed by A. B. Bogart) digital asset number 1
ARTIST:
MacNeil, Hermon Atkins 1866-1947
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Bogart, A. B.
TYPE:
Photograph
NOTES:
On photo mount label: H. A. MacNeil. Blackpipe the Soiux. Bogart. Classification number: 282. Accession: 4747[cropped].
TOPIC:
Ethnic–Sioux
Figure male–Head
IMAGE NUMBER:
SSC S0001642
SEE MORE ITEMS IN:
Photograph Archives
DATA SOURCE:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum 

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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.

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