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 ???

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Sculptures that Hermon A. MacNeil’s exhibited for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.


Picture 1 of 15

Photo Credit: Gib Shell

The above works that Hermon A. MacNeil’s exhibited in Buffalo for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition are listed in:

“The Catalogue of the Exhibition of Fine Arts.” Pan-American Exposition: Buffalo, 1901. (p. 45-46; p. 59).

pp. 45-4. H. A. MacNeil:

#1613. The Sun Vow – Silver Medal, Paris Exposition, 1900.

#1614. The Moqui Runner – Silver Medal, Paris Exposition, 1900 (Lent by E. E. Ayer, Esq)

#1615. Bust — Agnese

#1616. Bust – [Lent by C. F. Browne, Esq.]

p. 59.

MacNeil, H. A., 145 West 55th Street, New York, N. Y. (II*) 1613-1616

*II – indicates MacNeil exhibited in “Group II – Sculpture, including medals and cameos” p. 49.

Some of these people mentioned in that exhibition record were to be long term colleagues, friends and patrons of MacNeil’s art and career.

Charles Francis Browne was a painter and friend who accompanied Hermon MacNeil and author, Hamlin Garland, to the southwest in the summer of 1895. They wanted to gain direct experience of American Indians to inform their art. What the trio found reflected in their respective painting, sculpture and writing.

MacNeil’s subsequent sculptures of Native Americans after that summer of 1895 continued a cultural focus that 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.

Edward Everett Ayers was an art patron to both MacNeil and Browne.  He had been a Civil War Calvary officer stationed in the southwestern United States.  He became a lumberman who made a fortune selling railroad ties and telephone poles. He urged MacNeil to travel to see the vanishing West of the American Indian.  He became an arts benefactor whose art collections are now housed by the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as, the Newberry Library.

All the above is but a small part of the history woven into this simple Exhibition catalogue entry from 1901.  More later on Macneil’s mysterious “Agnese.”

Related Images:


A Brief Bio – H. A. MacNeil

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Hermon Atkins MacNeil (about the time of his marriage to Carol Brooks on Christmas Day 1895)

Hermon Atkins MacNeil, American sculptor, (February 27, 1866 – October 2, 1947) was most influential in winning worldwide recognition of the American Indian as a valid artistic focus in American and European Art. His statues depicting the Native American themes became an introduction for Americans and Europeans to a ‘truly American’ subject matter for the arts. His many later monument sculptures still grace public spaces in dozens of cities across the United States.  (Hot-links on this website will take you there — virtually)

Early Life and Career:  Born in Everett (Chelsea, Malden) Massachusetts on his parent’s farm, MacNeil received his formal training in the arts at the Normal Art School in Boston (now Mass Art) in 1886. Upon graduation in 1886 he moved to Cornell, New York where he became an instructor in industrial art and modeling at Cornell University from 1886 to 1888. Seeking continued education, he followed the path of many sculptors/artists of his day and left for study and experience in Europe.  Settling in Paris, he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and at the Julien Academy as a pupil of Henri M. Chapu and Alexandre Falguière.

2016 MacNeil Medallion marking the 150th Anniversary the birth of Hermon A. MacNeil. Commissioned by our webmaster, these numbered medals are available on eBay.

Chicago:  In 1891, he was back in the United States working with Frederick MacMonnies assisting on the architectural sculptures for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. With Lorado Taft, sculpture director, he prepared preliminary sketches and was asked to craft several sculptures for the Electricity Building.   Afterward, he settled in Chicago.  He taught at the Art Institute of Chicago and opened a studio, shared with artist Charles F. Browne, where he continued developing his work depicting the American Indian.

Native American Themes: His first introduction to native subjects came through Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. During the 1893 Worlds Fair, Buffalo Bill’s troupe performed in a carnival setting outside the main entrance. Fascinated, MacNeil’s artist-eye and imagination took every opportunity to see the show and sketch the ceremonies and rituals of Indian life — MacNeil often carried a sketch book. He latter befriended Black Pipe, a Sioux warrior from the show, who he found down-and-out on the Chicago streets after the carnival midways of the Fair had  closed.  MacNeil invited Black Pipe to model for him and assist in studio labors, which he did for over a year.  Inspired by these native subjects and encouraged by Edward Everett Ayers, MacNeil found a respect for this vanishing Native culture and made subsequent trips to the southwest.  When the Marquette Building was constructed, MacNeil was awarded a commission to complete Four Bas Relief Panels  of over the main entrance.  His work depicts four scenes from Marquette’s trip through the Great Lakes region. 

In the summer of 1895, along with Hamlin Garland (a writer) and C. F. Browne (a painter), he traveled to the four-corners territories (now, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah) seeing American Indians (Navajo, and Moqui — now Hopi) in their changing cultural element on various reservations.  While there, he was asked to sculpt, out of available materials, a likeness of Chief Manuelito. The Navajo warrior had died in despair after being imprisoned for four years as a renegade by the U. S. Government (Col. Kit Carson) twenty-five years earlier.  Manuelito’s likeness (click here), made of available materials, brought tears to his widow’s eyes, and remains an object of cultural pride in Gallup, New Mexico to this day. 

Rinehart Prize. In December,  he received news that he had been named as recipient of the Rinehart Roman Scholarship for study in Rome.  Newspapers such as the Nov. 25, 1895 Chicago Tribune (CLICK HERE), and the Dec. 22, 1895 -New York Sun, (CLICK HERE) (columns 5 & 6), contained the news of the selection of this 29 year-old western artist to receive the Prix Rome, namely, the Rinehart Roman Scholarship. The three sculptors on the committee that selected MacNeil for the  award were the ‘giants’ among American sculptors of the 19th century.  The Rinehart Roman committee included Augustus Saint Gaudens, John Quincy Adams Ward, and Daniel Chester French

Marriage: On Christmas Day 1895, in Chicago, he married Carol (Carrie) Louise Brooks, also a sculptor (see their marriage record below). Following their wedding, the pair left for Rome, passing three years there (1896-1899) and eventually spend a fourth year in Paris where their first son, Claude, was born.  During those years they studied studied sculpture together under the same masters and shared the income of Hermon’s Rinehart scholarship. (Carol had also studied sculpture with both Lorado Taft and Frederick William MacMonnies).

Rome: While living in Rome from 1896-99, Hermon MacNeil made his studio in the Villa dell’ Aurora. There he put into bronze several myths and dances of the Moqui (Hopi) Indian tribes from his visits there in 1895. His first creation theReturn of the Snakes’, depicted a nude Indian running through the prickly-pear cactus carrying two handfuls of rattlesnakes. (1897 “The Moqui Runner” Modeled 1896, Cast 1897).  This Indian priest, having used the snakes in a tribal ceremony to pray for rain to save the crops, is running down the mesa to free the snakes so that they may convey the prayers for rain to heaven.  (The concept later became the subject of  his 1931 Society of Medalists Commemorative (Issue #3). During his time in Rome he also sculpted The Sun Vow,’ the piece for which he became most famous and most often remembered.  There in the hallowed cultural dominance of millennia of Geeco-Roman art, MacNeil chose to give sculptural life to his memories of the American Native West. 
American Sculptor:  At the turn of the century MacNeil was back in the states, bringing with him his fame from achievements in Europe and growing recognition in the United. States. Settling in New York City, Queens, College Point, he build a home and studio.  For the next five decades he focused on the many commissions he received for exhibitions throughout the states as well as private sales of his works.
His handy works were entered into the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo (1901); the Charleston Exposition in South Carolina (1902); the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis (1904); the Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland, Oregon (1905); and the Pan-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco (1915).  
Coins & Medals:
He sculpted the Pan-American Exposition Medal (1901), the Standing Liberty Quarter (1916), and the Society of Medalists #3 (Prayer for Rain, 1931).  
Buildings & Monuments:  
He made many building sculptures for these expositions, a few of which still remain.  For the 1904 Fair he worked with architect Case Gilbert on the Palace of Fine Arts (now the home of the Saint Louis Art Museum).  It contains three of his bas relief panels above the doors.  Decades later, Gilbert, had MacNeil sculpt the East Pediment of the U. S. Supreme Court Building where Moses is the center of 11 figures.  Other public buildings bearing his works include the Connecticut Capitol (six statues), the Missouri Capitol (dozens of figures in a one hundred foot stone frieze), the Cook County Court House (two pairs of figures) and Marquette Buildings (four bronze panels per the entrances).  The Pony Express statue in Saint Joseph Missouri (1940) was probably his last work completed in his 74 year of life.

“The Pony Express” (1940) by H. A. MacNeil; St. Joseph, MO (photo by Dan Leininger)

A highly successful and creative sculptor/artist, MacNeil died at age eighty-one in his home/studio on Long Island Sound where he had worked for forty-seven years.
EXPLORE this Website:  

Launched in April 2010, this Gallery celebrates Hermon Atkins MacNeil, American sculptor. Trained in the Beaux Arts School of Paris, he led a generation of American sculptors to capture many fading Native American images in the realism of this classic style. He designed and sculpted for World’s Fairs, public monuments (see links below), coins, and buildings across to country.
We, here at HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com, celebrate his work daily.
We have designated each February as “MacNeil Month”  (two dozen examples) to honor his birth.

Enjoy over 100 stories of H. A. MacNeil’s work and life here, on-site, in your area, on vacation, wherever…

  • — Google Maps show location of sculptures!
  • — Click on list of “Public Sculptures of H.A.MacNeil” to see photos.
  • — Study & Leave COMMENTS at the bottom of any Posting.
  • — All in one cyber-space you can Celebrate a lifetime of art

A list of over forty web links to “Sculptures of Hermon Atkins MacNeil” can be found (to your right) or at  https://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/.  

This page is adapted from the following sources:
  1. www.nygardgallery.com at:http://www.fada.com/browse_by_artist.html?gallery_no=26&artist=3522&bio=1 
  2. Holden, Jean Stansbury (October 1907). “The Sculptors MacNeil“. The World’s Work: A History of Our TimeXIV: 9403–9419.
  3. Hermon Atkins MacNeil –  Wikipedia.org
  4. Daniel Neil Leininger.  This website: https://hermonatkinsmacneil.com/   ]
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Comments (1)


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


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