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 300 of stories & 4,000 photos form this virtual MacNeil Gallery stretching east to west  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!     Daniel Neil Leininger, webmaster

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

Archive for Statue

#1. A “Tortoise and Hare” are hiding at the Supreme Court

That’s no FABLE, Aesop! 

They’ve been there for 91 years. Hiding on back of the building.

Can you see them there?

The ‘Hare’ of Aesop’s fable as to ‘Slow but Steady’ Justice.

The ‘Tortoise’ of Aesop’s fable as MacNeil’s Finale of Justice.

Maybe this

HELPS?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Plus #2 the 

‘Supreme Secret’

from the  Family …

MacNeil.

Guess, WHO SCULPTED the Tortoise and the Hare on the East Pediment?”

NOW, just this week,

Carolyn Saul (‘Carrie’ MacNeil’s  grand niece)

shared a MacNeil family story, 3 generations old. 

“I was always told that

Hermon let one of his sons

design the tortoise and the hare. 

Have you heard that?

[Yes,  I heard  that “tender tidbit”  years ago

but it never became a story on this site.]

WHICH son, Claude or Alden?   This bit of MacNeil Lore does not say.  Claude worked in aviationAlden was an architect, who formally studied art at Fountainbleu.

The brothers are described in the March 1928 Obituary of their younger sister Joie Katherine MacNeil as follows:

She leaves behind her parents, two brothers, Alden a recent graduate of Cornell University and now a student in the famous Fountainbleu art school, and Claude, an aviator and mechanical engineer on the staff of the Sikorsky Aircraft Manufacturing Company at College Point.  Source: The Daily Star, Queens Borough, Tuesday Evening, March 20, 1928. Page 4, column 7.

Alden seems the more probable

of Hermon’s sons to assist in the 1932

rendering of the East Pediment pair

of the Tortoise and Hare.

NOW, Carolyn’s comment validates that idea from

MacNeil-family-lore

through three generations.

~ ~ ~ ~

The MacNeil’s SUPREME COURT statues

JUSTICE THE GUARDIAN OF LIBERTY”

Are the most viewed pages on this website.

Here’s just two days of page views to sample from MacNeil Month:

 

Page Titles viewed on Feb. 10, 2023
  Views
1. Hermon MacNeil’s Supreme Court Sculptures: ~ ~ ~ Moses Revisited ~ ~ ~   6
2. Home page / Archives   5
3. Moses, Confucius, and Solon at Supreme Court

TOTALS:

  2

13

 

 
“SLOW BUT STEADY”
 
Justice WINS the RACE
 
Thanks, Uncle Hermon
 
 

Related Images:

Hermon MacNeil’s 3 Sculptures

for Presidents Day

2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presidents Day honors the February birthdays of

George Washington (Feb 22nd) and

Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12th)

Presidents’ Day, officially Washington’s Birthday, in the United States

(third Monday in February)

popularly recognized as honoring

George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

The day is sometimes understood as a celebration of the

birthdays and lives of all U.S. presidents.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

View MacNeil’s Presidents yourself > > > >

George WashingtonPostings of MacNeil’s

George Washington as Commander-in-Chief

CLICK HERE 

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

Abraham Lincoln  –   Postings of MacNeil’s

Abraham LincolnPrairie Lawyer

CLICK HERE

 

William McKinley – Postings of MacNeil’s

William McKinkey

CLICK HERE

 

HAPPY PRESIDENTS DAY 2023

Related posts:

  1. ~ ~ ~ MacNeil’s SCULPTURES of PRESIDENTS ~ ~ ~ An Inauguration Day Reflection. (6) On this Presidential Inaugural Day, the 57th in our history,…
  2. Presidents Day 2020 ~~ MacNeil Month ~~ Wm. McKinley ~~ Abe Lincoln ~~ Geo. Washington ~~ “THEY ARE ALL THERE” — H.A MacNeil’s Sculptures of 3 Presidents ~~ (5)  “They are still there” celebrates several re-visits and discoveries of…
  3. Happy Birthday Mr. Washington! ~ Part TWO ~ MacNeil Month #6 ~ The President Who would NOT be King. (4) NOTE: February 22nd marks the 279th Birthday of George Washington….
  4. INDEPENDENCE DAY Images ~ from Hermon A. MacNeil (4) Here are a few images of  Independence from Hermon Atkins…
  5. Hermon Atkins MacNeil to be featured in “The Galley” (4) Hermon MacNeil was the first president of the Clan MacNeil…
  6. 153rd Anniversary of the Birth of Hermon Atkins MacNeil ~ American Sculptor ~ Feb 27, 1866 (4) I never met Hermon MacNeil. I never met my maternal…

Related Images:

Comments (0)

Our 1st SerendipityIn December 2022 an order came in for three (3) MacNeil Medallions.

In eight years of offering these commemoratives, no one has ever asked for three.  I was so surprised, that I mistakenly shipped 2 medals.

Duuh ...

The buyer pointed out my error; and I apologized and sent a third medallion. 

The 2nd Serendipity.   In corresponding with the buyer, I asked,

“Are you a SLQ (Standing Liberty Quarter) collector or a

MacNeil enthusiast?”

The answer below surprised and pleased me greatly

“I am the great niece of Carol (Carrie) MacNeil. Alden Finney Brooks was my great  grandfather.  I have been corresponding with Jim Haas for many years. Your medallion is beautiful.

While these medallions have reached over a hundred people I’ve labeled: “Friends of HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com”; I have never knowingly found a MacNeil relative.  In the second mailing included an article I wrote for The Galley (the Clan MacNeil Magazine) to make amends.

The buyer, Carolyn Saul, added:

“I have been looking at your website.  You have a treasure!

I have been to Brookgreen Gardens to see Hermon’s statues and to the Columbus Capitol to see his work there.  Well and the Supreme Court Building.  I was always told that Hermon let one of his sons design the tortoise and the hare.  Had you heard that?

The ‘Tortoise’ of Aesop’s fable as MacNeil’s Finale.

The ‘Hare’ of Aesop’s fable as to ‘Slow but Steady’ Justice.

While I heard that “tender tidbit” years ago, it slipped from my memory, and never became a story on this site. NOW, Carolyn’s comment validates  it as MacNeil-family-lore through three generations.  It makes a fitting “punch line” to Hermon’s “humor” of framing the East Pediment with a Greek (Eastern) fable.

 

 

Definition:  Serendipitous – occurring or discovered by chance in a happy or beneficial way,  “a serendipitous encounter”

Stay Tuned for our 3rd Serendipity in next post.

Related posts:

  1. Hermon MacNeil and Jo Davidson ~ #4 ~ “Celebrating Careers” MacNeil Month 2021 (4)    MacNeil Month  #4  —  February 22, 2021    JO…
  2. Moses, Confucius, and Solon at Supreme Court (3) The East Pediment of the Supreme Court of the United…
  3. SUPREME COURT – Arrival at last! (3) “Slow but steady wins the race.”  So said Aesop in…
  4. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ~~~ has DIED this evening! (3) Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died.  She was the first Jewish…
  5. 2023 MacNeil Month becomes “MacNeil~Brooks” Month (3)  MacNeil Month becomes MacNeil~Brooks Month in 2023 Each February is…
  6. Hermon MacNeil’s Supreme Court Sculptures: ~ ~ ~ Moses Revisited ~ ~ ~ (2) When the Supreme Court justices considered whether the Ten Commandments…

 

Related Images:

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-Illini 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 (Illini) 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.

Related Images:

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.  

 

Related Images:

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/

 

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