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

~ This Gallery celebrates Hermon Atkins MacNeil, American sculptor of the Beaux Arts School. MacNeil led a generation of sculptors in capturing many fading Native American images and American history in the realism of this classic style.

~ World’s Fairs, statues, public monuments, coins, and buildings across to country. Hot-links (on the lower right) lead to photos & info of works by MacNeil.

~ Hundreds of stories and photos posted here form this virtual MacNeil Gallery of works all across the U.S.A.  New York to New Mexico — Oregon to South Carolina.

~ 2016 marked the 150th Anniversary of Hermon MacNeil’s birth on February 27,

Take a Virtual Journey

This website seeks to transport you through miles and years with a few quick clicks of a mouse or keyboard or finger swipes on an iPad.

Perhaps you walk or drive by one of MacNeil's many sculptures daily. Here you can gain awareness of this artist and his works.

For over one hundred years his sculptures have graced our parks, boulevards, and parkways; buildings, memorials, and gardens; campuses, capitols, and civic centers; museums, coinage, and private collections.

Maybe there are some near you!

Happy Birthday to all you “Leaplings” out there.  It’s Leap Day. 

It only comes once every four years or 1,460 days, if you’re counting.  Today is just another Leap Day to 99.73% of us.  But to you Leapsters, it is another long-awaited actual birthday – a full 24 hour birthday. Congratulations. Celebrate being alive!  Today, we will join in with you from afar.

There are approximately 187,000 of you leaplings in the U.S, and about 4 million Leaplings in the entire world.  Since your actual birthdate only comes once in 1,461 days, we will give you 4 exclamation points after the usual greeting today.  So “Happy Birthday, Leaplings!!!!

Thomas Henry McNeil in 1894

My grandfather, Tom Henry McNeil, was a Leapling (or a Leapster, if you prefer), born on February 29, 1860.  He was quite a man.   His Wikipedia page at Thomas H. McNeil states in part:

“Thomas H. McNeil (February 29, 1860 – October 1, 1932) was an American football player and lawyer. He was the first University of Michigan football player to be the starting quarterback in consecutive years. He led the Michigan football team to undefeated seasons in 1884 and 1885. He later became a lawyer practicing in Missouri”

 
Tom was an older cousin of the sculptor, Hermon Atkins MacNeil, to whom this website is dedicated. He taught all his children to address Hermon as “Uncle Hermon” out of respect for him as a distinguished elder of the MacNeil line. 

Yes, today is special.  It’s Leap Day. But it is also special because it is another day to live.  A great truth of life is that every day is special.  Every day is a day for us to be truly live. “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”  Psalm 90:12. – a verse from Sunday School.  It’s sort of a prayer, asking God to: “Teach us how short our life is, so that we may become wise.”

Oh, wise! Growing old comes kind of naturally.  Growing wise takes a bit more help.   It really helps to be taught that we have a heart and a soul, to be loved into growing as a human being.  And to learn to listen to both and apply our hearts to becoming wiser than we used to be. 

 “Number Your Days”  and Become Wise.

“Happy Birthday” ~ All You Leapsters!

February 29, 2020

 

( Edit this Post )

Why do we celebrate MacNeil Month each February?  Two reasons:

  1. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” Hermon MacNeil. 

    Hermon A. MacNeil Commemorative sketched by Artist Charles D. Daughtrey as the seventh work in his Series of Coin Designers is available at http://www.cdaughtrey.com/

    Hermon Atkins MacNeil about the time of his Standing Liberty works.

     

    1. February 27 is the 154th anniversary of the birth of Hermon A. MacNeil, born in 1866.  Hermon is the patron-sculptor whose work and life are celebrated at this website – HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com.
  2. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” Tom Henry McNeil, My grandfather ~ And the older cousin of Hermon MacNeil.

    Thomas (Tom) Henry McNeil (b. 1860 – d. 1932)

    1. February 29 is the Anniversary of the birth of Thomas (Tom) Henry McNeil (my grandfather) born in 1860, one-hundred and sixty years ago.
    2. Tom told his daughters to address “Hermon” as “Uncle Hermon.”  “Uncle” was the title of respect bestowed on their first-cousin-twice-removed.

When the Students of Northwestern University saw MacNeil’s Female and Male statues in front of Patten Gym, they re-named them “Pat and Jim”

“Pat” or “Intellectual Development” is half of the pair of MacNeil creations that have graced the Northwestern campus for over 100 years.

“Jim” or “Physical Development” is the left-hand piece of the MacNeil pair placed in front of “Patten Gym” in 1919.

A bit of Sophmoric humor, perhaps, sure!  But “Pat & Jim”  are leading Northwestern into a 2nd century of campus smiles.

“Pat” bears a striking resemblance to another MacNeil lady, namely, “Prosperity” of the McKinley grouping. Perhaps they are related?  At least creations of the same creator.

WELCOME TO MacNEIL MONTH !

“Pat” of Patten Gym bears a resemblance to “Prosperity” of the McKinley Monument grouping.

“Prosperity” and her daughter “Peace” are bookends of the McKinley Monument.

 “They are still there” celebrates  MacNeil works visited in 2019.

This pair of Beaux Arts pieces are just two of hundreds of the works of Hermon Atkins MacNeil.

This years featured visits include:

  1. “The Sun Vow” in New York City and Monmouth, New Jersey. 
  2. “William McKinley” statue in Columbus, Ohio.
  3. The Patten Gym at Northwestern University ~ “Intellectual Development” and “Emotional Development”
  4. “The Soldiers and Sailors Monument” in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT  Philadelphia

Philadelphia – Hermon MacNeil – “Soldiers And Sailors Monument” – South pylon or Sailors side – Being photographed by Dan Leininger, webmaster).

 “They are still there” celebrates several re-visits and discoveries of MacNeil works made in 2019. This Presidents Day we look again at:

  1. “William McKinley” statue in Columbus, Ohio.

    The Statue of Wm. McKinley stands in front of Ohio Capitol looking out over the city of Columbus. I always marvel at MacNeil’s works all over the U.S. of A.

     

  2. The “Lincoln Lawyer” of Illinois

    Image from the Re-dedication Day of Lincoln Hall at University of Illinois in Champagne-Urbana in 2012.

     

     

     

    This Lincoln Hall image was on the Tee Shirts worn by student-guides on Feb 12, 2012 for the re-opening of the renovated Hall

  3. Washington Square in New York City. 

    General George Washington with Flags (U.S. and POW/MIA) ~ Washington Arch Greenwich, NYC (Photo courtesy of: Gibson Shell – 2011)

    In NYC MacNeil’s likeness of General Washington guards the rear flanks of the Washington Arch.

     

President McKinley was assassinated at the 1902 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, NY.  MacNeil was an exhibitor and sculpted the Award medal for that Worlds Fair.  He later was awarded the commission for this McKinley Monument at the Ohio Capitol Square in Columbus.

McKinley detail ~ foot of “Industry” – a Blacksmith.

Industry and and his youthful student – allegorical figures in the McKinley grouping.

McKinley quote after taking office in 1900.

“Prosperity” and her her understudy, “Peace”

 

 

Here are three old Photos of the McKinley Monument

Early 1900s Postcard of McKinley Monument.

McKinley grouping in front of Ohio Capitol.

MacNeil’s 1915 “Lincoln” in Lincoln Hall

The restored East Foyer of Lincoln Hall with its gilted vaulted ceiling and columns makes a dramatic setting for Hermon A. MacNeil’s bust of Abrabam Lincoln as the famed prairie lawyer who left Illinois to lead the nation through the War to preserve the Union and the succession South states.

Another of Hermon MacNeil’s “Lincoln Lawyer” was found at the Rushville (Illinois) Public Library. The happy webmaster was pleased to see it and meet the Library staff.  I am sure you recognize Abe Lincoln.  Well the guy smilin’ on the right is me, Dan Leininger [the “happy webmaster of  HAM (https://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/)

MacNeil of Barra tartan

 

 

I had the privilege of visiting the MAM site this week and will post a larger story soon. For now, here’s a quick shot of MacNeil’s “Sun Vow”.

 In August, news arrived from Monclair, NJ, expressing community concern about the 117 year-old “Sun Vow” at Monclair Art Museum’ being relocated (without a specific plan for its future).

https://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/?s=montclair

The statue was a gift of the co-founder, William T. Evans.  It has been welcoming patrons to the front door for over a century after William Evans (the donor and co-founder) commissioned it in 1903, and placed it there in 1914. 

Son Vow – Opinion ‘Respecting ‘The Sun Vow’ Regarding the Montclair Art Museum’s landscape re development proposal for the Planning Board Meeting Monday August 26 at 7:30 PM

“The relocating of this “Sun Vow” appears to be on hold for the present as the Montclair Museum continues to assess their future expansion and update plans.”

~ Dan Leininger ~

Related posts:

  1. Son Vow – Opinion ‘Respecting ‘The Sun Vow’ Regarding the Montclair Art Museum’s landscape re development proposal for the Planning Board Meeting Monday August 26 at 7:30 PM Here’s a quick shot of MacNeil’s “Sun Vow” with yours…
  2. “Sun Vow” – MacNeil’s most famous piece ` ` The Sun Vow is certainly Hermon Atkins MacNeil’s…
  3. Searching for Uncle Hermon in Chicago ~ “The Sun Vow” (cont.) On a cold December day we took the CTA Blue…
  4. Searching for Uncle Hermon in Chicago ~ Part 2 ~ “Vow of Vengeance” My recent post about our December 3rd journey on the…
  5. “Sun Vow” Video Starts MacNeil Month 2015 Here at the HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com website we celebrate every February as…

MacNeil’s “Sun Vow” is “Still There”

in NYC Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1919.

The “Sun Vow” became a theme here at HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com on several occasions. 

In November, I received an email and Photos from my daughter and grandson as they visited New York City.

Rachel and Owen Schweers visiting “The Sun Vow” in NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York City ~~ Metropolitan Museum of Art   My daughter and grandson texted the following:

“Hey Grampa, Look what we found!”

Owen Schweers at Hermon MacNeil’s “Sun Vow”.

Here’s some 2019 Photos of the MMA with Rachel and Owen Schweers on a New York City excursion in November.

Here is the Museum’s own description of this MacNeil piece:

“By the 1890s, sculptural representations of Native American and Western themes had become extremely popular. While living in Chicago in the early 1890s, MacNeil had learned of a rite of passage that captured his imagination: before a boy on the threshold of manhood could be accepted as a warrior, he was required to shoot an arrow directly into the sun. If the chieftain judging the boy’s prowess was so blinded by the sun’s rays that he could not follow the flight of the arrow, it was said to have gone “out of sight,” and the youth had passed the test. MacNeil portrayed the dramatic moment following the arrow’s release, heightening both the visual impact of the composition and the sense of narrative suspense.”

The Sun Vow

Working Title/Artist: The Sun Vow
Department: Am. Paintings / Sculpture
Culture/Period/Location:
HB/TOA Date Code:
Working Date: 1919
scanned for collections

Artist: Hermon Atkins MacNeil (American, Everett, Massachusetts 1866–1947 Queens, New York).  Date: 1899, cast 1919.  Culture: American.  Medium: Bronze.  Dimensions: 72 x 32 1/2 x 54 in. (182.9 x 82.6 x 137.2 cm).  Classification: Sculpture

Native Perspective:  from MMA.  Hermon Atkins MacNeil, Sun Vow

Hermon Atkins MacNeil (American, 1866–1947). The Sun Vow, 1899, cast 1919. Bronze, 72 x 32 1/2 x 54 in. (182.9 x 82.6 x 137.2 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.126). On view in gallery 700.

How will MacNeil’s story end? The figures are suspended, held captive by a vow that the artist later admitted he perhaps made up. This representation of the futility of Indian action fosters a belief in their aimlessness. Where will the arrow land? It cannot. Ineffective and undirected, it must disappear. This reinforces a limited vision of Native success in which the youth, the next generation, must move beyond the blinded elder. In a celebration of naivety, the child smiles slightly at the release of the powerless arrow, contributing to the acknowledgment of landless future generations—of Natives forcibly separated from their territories, and from themselves. This depiction participates in a ritual of blindness to a civilizing violence understood as necessary.

Jackson Polys (Tlingit)

Credit: Met Museum of Art; NYC: https://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-met/curatorial-departments/the-american-wing/native-perspectives ]

We observe each February as MacNeil Month here on HAM.

“They’re Still There!” celebrates several re-visits and discoveries of MacNeil works made in 2019.

Why do this in February?  Two reasons:

  1. February 27 is the anniversary of the birth of Hermon A. MacNeil, born in 1866, of one-hundred and fifty-four years ago. Hermon is the patron-sculptor whose work and life are celebrated at this website – HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com.
  2. February 29 is the Anniversary of the birth of Thomas (Tom) Henry McNeil (my grandfather) born in 1860, one-hundred and sixty years ago. Tom told his daughters to address “Hermon” as “Uncle Hermon.”  “Uncle” was the title of respect bestowed on their first-cousin-twice-removed.

MacNeil of Barra Tartan (Modern)

WHAT YOU FIND HERE.

Nearby or far away, there is no ONE place to go and appreciate this wide range of art pieces. Located in cities from east to west coast, found indoors and out, public and hidden, these creations point us toward the history and values in which our lives as Americans have taken root.

Webmaster: Daniel Neil Leininger ~ HAMacNeil@gmail.com
Hosting & Tech Support: Leiturgia Communications, Inc.
COME BACK & WATCH US GROW

WE DESIRE YOUR DIGITAL PHOTOS – Suggestions

1. Take digital photos of the entire work from several angles, including the surroundings.
2. Take close up photos of details that capture your imagination.
3. Look for MacNeil’s signature, often on bronze works. Photograph it too! See examples above.
4. Please, include a photo of yourself and/or those with you standing beside the work.
5. Add your comments or a blog of your adventure. It adds personal interest for viewers.
6. Send photos to HAMacNeil@gmail.com Contact me there with any questions. ~~ Webmaster