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 Monuments

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

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  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…
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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

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Hermon MacNeil met Hamlin Garland in Chicago.

Hermon MacNeil

New York Public Library - Digital Gallery (655 x 760)

H. A. Mac Neil

Hermon MacNeil came to Chicago in 1891. Preliminary work was beginning on the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 (Chicago Worlds Fair)He brought with him a Letter of Introduction to Phillip Martiny, a gift from Augustus Saint Gaudens of New York City. 

“Martiny was one of the large team of decorative sculptors assembled to carry out details for the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893, where he settled for a year to carry out the clay models for many somewhat facile decorative allegorical figures, cherubs, caryatids and the like. …  The sculptures, which were carried out in staff, a weather-resistant plaster, were destroyed with the exhibition buildings, but the successful effect they produced led to further similar commissions at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York (1901) and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St Louis (1904). His growing reputation led to his only medal, an award medal for the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia.”  [4]  Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Martiny

“So MacNeil chose to settle in Chicago where this collosal World’s Fair was “being born.”  This decision proved momentous in many ways. In his ‘Chicago Years’ he met people who would remain professional colleagues and friends for the next four decades.   These included Frederick MacMonnies, Lorado Taft, his pupil, Carol Louise  Brooks (who MacNeil was to marry in 1895), Daniel Chester French, as well as architects Daniel Burnham, Stanford White, and Charles Follen McKim. The rest of MacNeil’s career would become a repeated succession of partnerships with these colleagues on projects, monuments, buildings, and memorials that were joint efforts of many Beaux Arts trained scupltors and architects associated with the American Academy in Rome.”The rest story has been told on  this website at:  “The Chicago Years”  [CLICK HERE]. 

Fifty years later, Hermon MacNeil, revisited these “Chicago Years” when he wrote out his thirteen page Autobiography.  Here’s what he wanted us to know:

St. Gaudens was then the great sculptor in America and in my brash way [ I ] went to N. Y. City and asked him for a job, that is, the privilege of being an apprentice.  He was kind enough to give me a letter to Philip Martiny, a very able sculptor who had considerable work at that time designing sculpture for the coming exposition in ChicagoHe rather doubtfully took me on.  At the end of the first week he asked me what I thought I should have for pay.  I had had no professional experience so I told him to set my stipend.  I would have taken $2 or $3 a day if he said so but he asked me if $5 would be enough!  I don’t think I showed any disappointment in my face and told him that was O.K.  (O.K. was not used in those days however)  So for a year I revelled [sic] in assisting in the professional work and learned a great deal.  Had in Paris learned to model the figure but in the studio to use intelligently and decoratively that knowledge was another thing again.  As a friend of Martiny’s said to me when looking at my work, “Don’t you know their is a great difference between a school study and a work of art?”  It sunk in.” [ “AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH — HERMON ATKINS MACNEIL,” June, 1943, page 4. ] Cornell University Archives.

Hamlin Garland

Garland Garland came to Chicago in 1893. 

Teen Writer.Garland began to write poetry during his teens and published his first poem in Harper’s Weekly called Lost in a Norther which announced his close connection with the adventurous American spirit and the pioneering life that would characterize a large part of his fiction.” [ https://mypoeticside.com/poets/hamlin-garland-poems ]

Keen Observer. “It wasn’t until Garland was in his early thirties though that he began to achieve some success with a collection of short stories under the title Main Travelled Roads. He used this success to move to Chicago where he gave lectures on writing in a more realistic way and later also visited the ‘untamed’ west where he observed cowboys and made copious books of notes on the life of American Indians. It was these keen character studies that he would use in his fiction in later years.”  [ https://mypoeticside.com/poets/hamlin-garland-poems ]

Scene Novelist.  When Garland moved to Chicago in 1893, he wanted to experience the events and excitement of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.  He was already considered “a significant figure in the Chicago Literary Movement” and “one of Chicago’s most important authors”.[8]  He wanted to both participate and witness this global, cultural symbol of the emerging American Exceptionalism.   Garland contributed some of the featured 6,000 lectures. In doing so he became friendly with Mark Twain, Walt Whitman and Rudyard Kipling, as well as Edward Eggleston, Joseph Kirkland and E.W. Howe.” [3]

 The Woodlawn neighborhood sprung up to house the explosion of workers, businesses, and commerce necessary to construct the “White City”  He settled in Woodlawn at 6427 South Greenwood Avenue, an apartment just six blocks south of the Midway and its amusements. 

Community of Artists.  The White City consisted of gleaming, white Beaux Arts structures blending Classical, Renaissance, Romanesque, and other styles.  The sculptors, architects, and artists interacted in the creation of fourteen Great Buildings. The Halls were dedicated to themes, including Electricity, Liberal Arts, Machinery, Agriculture, Administration, Machinery, Mining, Transportation, Horticulture, Fisheries, Womens Hall, Forestry, US Government, and Court of Honor.  

The White Rabbits.   The story of Larado Taft and his female assistants, The White Rabblts, has been told many times here on this website.  They did more than finish the works of their male sculptors counterparts.

The Rabbits weren’t just responsible for realizing other people’s visions; several of them also contributed their own sculptures to the fair. Scudder created an allegorical female Justice for the Illinois building as well as a sculpture for the pavilion of her home state, Indiana. Taft’s sister Zulime Garland made Flying Victory and Learning. Julia Bracken Wendt, who was already the most talented assistant in Taft’s studio before the fair, sculpted Faith; Charity was undertaken by Carrie Brooks MacNeil, Maternity by Ellen Copp, and “Art” by Bessie Potter Vonnoh.

Friendships and Romance.  While creating the these buildings and sculptures, there evolved a unique community of White City artists.  The collegiality extended through the years. Several friendships evolved into marriage.   Both Garland and MacNeil found their life partners in Larado Taft”s assistants, The White Rabbits.  A recurring community of Camp Life sprung up:

[1] “The spirit of playful camaraderie among the city’s artists was manifest in the first of several outings to Bass Lake, Indiana.  For two weeks in August 1894 Potter experienced invigorating camp life with the sculptors Lorado Taft, Carrie Brooks, Hermon Atkins MacNeil, Lew Wall Moore, and Edward and Laura Swing Kemeys, And the painters Charles Francis Browne, Carl Heber, and Menthe Svenden.  Between recreational activities and spirited antics, painters and sculptors alike engaged in plein-air oil sketching of the scenery.  Evenings were given over to art lectures illustrated by the stereopticon projected on a make shift screen consisting  of a sheet stretched between trees.  Such a good time was had that the artist arranged another merry outing for September.  There after the excursions became annual events.” 

[1] Julie Aronson, Bessie Potter Vonnoh: Sculptor of Women, Cincinnati Art Museum: Ohio University Press; Athens, Ohio. 2008, p. 31.

TWO MARRIAGES:

Hermon MacNeil married Carol (Carrie) Brooks a student of Larado Taft, and Hamlin Garland married Zulime Taft, sister of Larado. 

They all built The White City, BUT the White City sculpted their lives as well.

SOURCES:

  1. [1] Julie Aronson, Bessie Potter Vonnoh: Sculptor of Women, Cincinnati Art Museum: Ohio University Press; Athens, Ohio. 2008, p. 31.
  2. Jamaicia Plain Historical Society [ https://www.jphs.org/people/2005/4/14/hamlin-garland-one-of-the-great-literary-pioneers-of-america.html ]

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Hermon A. MacNeil’s statue of

General George Washington

(on the reverse of this historic Arch)

stands above this

“Victory Celebration.”

Spontaneous crowds are celebrating the

ELECTION of 46th PRESIDENT of the United States,

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

(The “Everyday JOE” candidate.) 

& Kamala Harris

the first Woman Vice President

daughter of an Asian Indian Mother and a Jamacian Father, 

Joyous New Yorkers flocked to the historic Washington Arch to dance and shout as Joe Biden was declared the next President-elect after four days of ballot counting.

It’s An American National Block Party

Behind the scenes MacNeil’s likeness of General Washington guarded the rear flanks of the rally

MacNeil’s statue portrays General George Washington in the uniform of the Continental Army of 1775.  Also, on the back of the Arch is Alexander Sterling Calder’s accompanying statue of President Washington as 1st President and the first civilian Commander-in-Chief.

Celebrating Americans seem relieved that new leadership will deal with the following stresses of 2020:

  • Political Vitriol
  • COVID-19 PANDEMIC
  • Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
  • Weaponized Decision Folly

 

In June 2020 Vandals tossed

red paint

this MacNeil work

Both statues of George Washington suffered “red paint” vandalism during earlier demonstrations on June 29, 2020.

[ CLICK HERE for that Story ]

Photo Credit: NY Post – Stephan Jeremiah

The accompanying “George Washington as President” statue by Alexander Sterling Calder was also damaged.  They have since been cleaned.  However, such vandalism takes a toll on these century old marble art monuments.

 The Vandalism post:

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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

In Flushing, New York, The World War Monument by Hermon MacNeil is inscribed:

“In Memory of Those

Who Gave Their Lives”

Roger Bow lives in Bayside, NY.

Last week, his life-long interest in collecting Standing Liberty Quarters, lead him to purchase a MacNeil Medallion.

In his order he added that he grew up in Flushing and always admired the World War Monument there.

I asked him if he would send me some pictures.

WELL, HE DID!

Hi Dan, 

   Received the beautiful Medallion and your nice note. I took some photos this weekend at MacNeil’s War Monument. 
   I grew up appreciating this striking and poignant monument in my hometown. I didn’t fully appreciate it’s magnificence until I was older and had seen and visited other war memorials in other States. Her presence never fails to remind us of the bravery, sacrifice and resolve of our troops while depicting the spiritual comfort of the lost finally coming home. 
   I will take a closer look at the Washington Square Monument next time I am in the area. I never knew MacNeil sculpted that figure as well. Great to make these connections and will always make an effort to visit MacNeil’s works wherever I travel. 
  I appreciate your preserving his legacy and for the gifts that accompanied the medallion. 
   Feel free to use any of the photos attached to my 3 emails.
 
Best regards for a safe and healthy year,
Roger Bow
THANKS, ROGER!
Very Creative.
Take a Bow!

THANKS, ROGER! Roger Bow with his MacNeil Medallion at the Flushing Memorial on Sunday — (8-23-2020)

CLICK ON PHOTOS BELOW FOR A SLIDESHOW:

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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2. Take close up photos of details that you like
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