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 Abraham Lincoln

HAM-Lincoln-bust-plaster-full

Finishing touches clean the marble niche where MacNeil’s Lincoln bust will greet Illini students in Lincoln Hall

A 1958 photo of lawyer Abe Lincoln as he appeared at the time of the debates with Senator Stephen Douglas

A 1958 photo of lawyer Abe Lincoln (with NO beard) as he appeared at the time of the debates with Senator Stephen Douglas and as MacNeil portrayed him.

Hermon MacNeil’s bronze bust of self-educated Illinois Lawyer Abe Lincoln was returned to its gloriously restored niche in Lincoln Hall on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign-Urbana to begin its second century on the Illinois Circuit of higher education.

The Smithsonian Institute archives contain this photo of MacNeil's Lincoln standing.

MacNeil’s standing Lincoln model from the Smithsonian Institute photo archives. The piece was made for a commission competition after 1906.

MacNeil originally sculpted a full length, standing model of the Illinois Lawyer that he later re-sculpted as a bust. From that piece he had Roman Bronze Works make eight castings of his Lincoln Lawyer. In 1928 at the recommendation of Lorado Taft, the University of Illinois purchased this one of the MacNeil sculptures of the younger Lincoln

In 1929, MacNeil’s work provided an iconic centerpiece for the Grand Stairway foyer of newly designed building.  On February 12, 2012, the restored bust was returned to its original niche, in the beautifully renovated Lincoln Hall.

For MORE history on the “Lawyer Lincoln” CLICK HERE

PHOTOS and MORE:  The lead photo above and three photos below are from the website of the Lincoln Hall Renovation (CLICK HERE) project at the University of Illinois.  They show the re-installation of MacNeil’s work.  The University has now completed the $66.4 million dollar restoration (Fact Sheet) of Lincoln Hall.  [SEE MORE MacNeil-Lincoln history below the photos]:

MacNeil's restored bust of young Abe Lincoln was bolted to a marble plate that could be cemented into place.

MacNeil’s restored bust of young Abe Lincoln was bolted to a marble plate that could be cemented into place.

 

The work crew of masons set the MacNeil's Lincoln bust back into the niche at the Grand Staircase of Lincoln Hall

The work crew of masons set the MacNeil’s Lincoln bust back into the niche at the Grand Staircase of Lincoln Hall

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A worker sweeps the marble stairs of Lincoln Hall foyer as photographers get set to record the return of Hermon MacNeil’s bust of young Lawyer Abe Lincoln to its perch where a second century of Illini students will pass by.

Art and museum records locate four of MacNeil’s eight “Lincoln Lawyer” castings. the  others “Lincoln Lawyer” busts by MacNeil appear incomplete as follows:

The fact that MacNeil made a “Lincoln Lawyer” statue was catalogued 60 years ago, along with the Lincoln likenesses sculpted by over 125 other sculptors.   Donald Charles Durman assembled a “List of Sculptures of Abraham Lincoln” in his 1951 book, “He Belongs to the Ages: The Statues of Abraham Lincoln” (published by Edwards Brothers, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1951).  The Smithsonian American Art Museum inventory lists only 3 locations of MacNeil’s other Lincoln busts.  The University of Illinois bust of Lincoln is NOT listed among them.  Thus, four of the eight are documented publicly.  The Smithsonian records indicate the following listings:
  1. University of Pennsylvania, Office of the Curator, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Control_Number: 77001611
  2. Beloit College, Wright Museum of Art, Beloit, Wisconsin – Control_Number: 75008855
  3. Amherst College, Mead Art Museum, Amherst, Massachusetts: Control_Number: 20090014
  4. Amherst College, Mead Art Museum, Amherst, Massachusetts 01002 Accession Number: S.1932.4            Source: Smithsonian American Art Museum ~ SIRIS
Lincoln Bible and king Bible as Barack Obama takes Oath (http://www.theyeshivaworld.com)

Lincoln Bible and king Bible as Barack Obama takes Oath (http://www.theyeshivaworld.com)

On this Presidential Inaugural Day, the 57th in our history, President Barack H. Obama will take the Oath of the Office of President of the United States.  He will place his hand on two Bibles.  One used by President Abraham Lincoln,  and a second belonging to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, whose birthday is also celebrated on this today.  This Inaugural Day comes fifty years after M. L. King spoke at the Civil Rights March at the Lincoln Memorial and 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. 

THEREFORE, in tribute to this historic day, we offer images of the three Presidents of the United States that Hermon Atkins MacNeil sculpted in his lifetime ~~ George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and William McKinley.

Washington and 'Valor' in profile

Washington and ‘Valor’ in profile

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

A visit to Illinois last week included a stop at the Abe Lincoln bust at Spurlock Museum  at U of I.  The sculpture will no longer be viewable in-the-round after being returned to its permanent home in the sparklingly-restored Lincoln Hall on campus.

A visit to Illinois in 2011 included a stop at the Abe Lincoln bust at Spurlock Museum at U of I. The sculpture will no longer be viewable in-the-round after being returned to its permanent home in the sparklingly-restored Lincoln Hall on campus

MacNeil originally sculpted a standing model of the Illinois Lawyer that he later re-sculpted as a bust.  From that piece he had Roman Bronze Works make eight castings of his Lincoln Lawyer.  This one is at the University of Illinois and will be returned to the Lincoln Hall when renovation is completed.  (For more on Lincoln busts see below.)

The Smithsonian Institute archives contain this photo of MacNeil's Lincoln standing.

The Smithsonian Institute archives contain this photo of MacNeil’s Lincoln standing.

Hearmon A. MacNeil's "Lincoln Lawyer" at the University of Illinois

Hermon A. MacNeil’s “Lincoln Lawyer” at the University of Illinois

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McKinley Statue in Columbus, Ohio.

McKinley making his last public speech. before he was assassinated, Buffalo, New York, September 5, 1901. (His pose in this photo resembles that of MacNeil's statue of him in 1904). (Credit: Frances B. Johnson-Ohio Historical Society-AL00501)

McKinley making his last public speech. before he was assassinated, Buffalo, New York, September 5, 1901. (His pose in this photo resembles that of MacNeil’s statue of him in 1904). (Credit: Frances B. Johnson-Ohio Historical Society-AL00501)

MacNeil's McKinley at Ohio Statehouse plaza

MacNeil’s McKinley at Ohio Statehouse plaza

 

 

MORE on MacNEIL’s BUSTS of LINCOLN: Art and museum records locate four of MacNeil’s eight “Lincoln Lawyer” castings.  Public records of the four other “Lincoln Lawyer” busts by MacNeil appear to be incomplete according to the following documentation by the Smithsonian Museum:

The fact that MacNeil made a “Lincoln Lawyer” statue was catalogued 60 years ago, along with the Lincoln likenesses sculpted by over 125 other sculptors.   Donald Charles Durman assembled a “List of Sculptures of Abraham Lincoln” in his 1951 book, “He Belongs to the Ages: The Statues of Abraham Lincoln” (published by Edwards Brothers, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1951).  The Smithsonian American Art Museum inventory lists only 3 locations of MacNeil’s other Lincoln busts.  The University of Illinois bust of Lincoln is NOT listed among them.  Thus, four of the eight are documented publicly.  The Smithsonian records indicate the following listings:
  1. University of Pennsylvania, Office of the Curator, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Control_Number: 77001611
  2. Beloit College, Wright Museum of Art, Beloit, Wisconsin – Control_Number: 75008855
  3. Amherst College, Mead Art Museum, Amherst, Massachusetts: Control_Number: 20090014
  4. Amherst College, Mead Art Museum, Amherst, Massachusetts 01002 Accession Number: S.1932.4

Source: Smithsonian American Art Museum ~ SIRIS

 Daniel Chester French’s most famous creation is his seated Lincoln.  This work won him much acclaim, including a National Sculpture Society Special Honor Award in 1929. 

Seated In the marble throne supported by two Roman fasces symbols, Lincoln gazes contemplatively over the "preserved Union."


The National Sculpture Society created a Special honor Award presented in 1929 to Daniel Chester French (lt). Presenters were Hermon A. MacNeil (ctr), Herbert Adams (rt.) and not in this picture are A. A.Weinman, and James Earle Fraser. Here the men admire the Special Honor Award sculpted by Laura Gardin Frazer.

The screen capture (above) shows a frame from the 1929 silent movie “The Medal Maker.”     This video frame shows two of the four presidents of the National Sculpture Society presenting the NSS‘s ‘Special Award Medal’ to Daniel Chester French (left).  Hermon MacNeil is in center (with hand gesture).  Herbert Adams is on right. 

French (1850-1931) died just 2 years after this video was made.  The making of the Medal by Laura Gardin Fraser is told in “The Medal Maker” (CLICK HERE FOR MORE).

The temple of the Lincoln Memorial shelters Daniel Chester French's tribute to our 16th President. Enthroned in marble the seated Mr. Lincoln personifies the greatest struggle of the American experiment in its first century.

Enshrined with him are the 438 words that rang out over the Gettysberg Battlefield Cemetery. Though he said "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here," history and the heart felt convictions of free people have proved that part of his dedication to be inaccurate.

 

 

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In the early 1900s, because of his knowledge and authorship on American Sculpture, Lorado Taft was referred to by many as ‘the Dean of American Sculpture.’   He offered early praise for Hermon Atkins MacNeil.  His admiration of MacNeil’s work continued into the 1920s when he recommended MacNeil’s “Lawyer Lincoln” bust to the University Of Illinois to grace the spiral entry foyer of Lincoln Hall.

In Chapter XXIII of his volume “THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE” (originally published in 1903), Taft offers the following praise of the young MacNeil:

THE YOUNGER GENERATION IN NEW YORK

 The opening twentieth century brings before us a group of young sculptors equipped by nature and by training as in the past few Americans have been. …

One of the most promising of this number is Hermon A. MacNeil.

Marquette Panel #4 (detail)

Well equipped with the training which the Parisian studios give, Mr. MacNeil was early discontented with the banality of modern sculptural themes. The makeshift subjects of his comrades seemed to him unworthy. He wanted to do things more original and more truly expressive. Western life and the Indian had for him a great appeal, and he made several trips to the redman’s reservations north and west, in order to study what he considered the most sculptural motifs which America offers.

His reliefs over the doors of the Marquette building in Chicago — scenes of the life and death [ p. 437 > p. 438 ] of Pere Marquette — show to what good use he put his material. He was wont to talk of the artistic possibilities of the Indian in sculpture with an enthusiasm that was eloquent if not always convincing. To him they were as fine as Greek warriors and as worthy to be immortalized. …

More of Taft’s critique on H. A. MacNeil will be offered in upcoming postings on HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com.

Hermon MacNeil's sculpture of Abe Lincoln wears a 'Happy Birthday' Hat

Abe Lincoln is helping celebrate Hermon A. MacNeil’s birthday on February 27th of this week. The sculptor was born in 1866 in Chelsea, Mass nearly ten months after Mr. Lincoln was assassinated.

Actually, the statue’s festive hat shown here was for the 100th birthday of the Spurlock Museum at the University of Illinois where the restored sculpture has been displayed for the last year.

This week the Abe Lincoln will be moved by university officials (not the Statue Liberation Society as in 1979 – CLICK HERE).  After March 1st the bust will be set into place in the refurbished Lincoln Hall.

Only three days remain to see the restored statue of Abraham Lincoln in-the-round, the way Hermon MacNeil sculpted it.

A visit to Illinois last week included a stop at the Abe Lincoln bust at Spurlock Museum at U of I. The sculpture will no longer be viewable in-the-round after being returned to its permanent home in the sparklingly-restored Lincoln Hall on campus.

MacNeil’s Abe Lincoln bust of the clean-shaven Illinois lawyer, senator and orator has become a beloved icon of Campus history.  The MacNeil work of Lincoln will continue to greet students, visitors and staff from central prominence in the spiral stairway.  It gives dramatic focus to the Main Entrance of the Hall named for this favorite son.   

The relocation will add the ‘crowning’ touch to the Main Lobby.  Once again, MacNeil’s ‘Lawyer Lincoln’ will look out from his perch in the circular stairwell.

In traveling through Champaign-Urbana, the Spurlock Museum was open last Saturday.  I made some poor-quality video of the statue in its 360 degree perspective and viewed again the MacNeil signature and ‘Roman Bronze Works’ marking on the rear of the piece.

MacNeil’s Lincoln, unlike most sculptures of him, is the ‘Lawyer Lincoln.’  Mr. Lincoln’s thirty-years in Illinois were the formative experiences that prepared him to be the statesman and leader of world-renown that he became as U.S. President during the preservation of the Union. (See the Feb 12th posting below)

The Lincoln bust will no longer be viewable in~the~round after this week.

Time is running out to see the refurbished Abraham Lincoln statue in-the-round, the way Hermon MacNeil sculpted it. 

MacNeil's Lincoln bust is beautifully restored on public display in the Spurlock Museum

We are told that the Spurlock Museum’s exhibit may end this spring or early summer.  The restored piece by Hermon A. MacNeil will return to the pristinely resurrected Lincoln Hall.  The relocation awaits the completion of the Main Lobby of the newly refurbished Hall.

Once again, MacNeil’s ‘Lawyer Lincoln’ will returned to his perch in the niche of the circular stairway.

Last time I traveled through Champaign, the Spurlock Museum was closed for the Christmas-New Year holidays.  I wanted to video the statue in its 360 degree perspective and rephotograph the MacNeil signature and ‘Roman Bronze Works’ marking on the rear of the piece.

MacNeil’s Lincoln, unlike most sculptures of him, is the ‘Lawyer Lincoln.’ He is clean-shaven, no beard, no ‘Mr. President Lincoln.’

This is THE Abe Lincoln of the ‘Land of Lincoln:’

  • Who came to Macon County in 1830 and build his father’s cabin.
  • Who would live in Illinois for the next 30 years.
  • Who settled in New Salem in 1831 to manage the mill.
  • Who volunteered with the Sangamon County company going to the Indian war in 1832.
  • Who returned to be appointed Postmaster of New Salem.
  • Who was elected to the State Legislature in 1834, 1836, 1838 and 1840.
  • Who courted Ann Rutledge, who died of ‘brain fever’ in 1835.
  • Who moved to the new Capitol in Springfield in 1837 to enter the practice of LAW with John T. Stuart.
  • Who Married Mary Todd of Kentucky in 1842.
  • Who was elected to Congress as a Whig in 1848.
  • Who traveled from Springfield by horseback across the County Seats of the Illinois Eighth Circuit Court.
  • Who argued over 5000 cases ranging from murder to boundary disputes
  • Who spoke in a simple and straightforward manner understandable by any farmer or citizen on the jury.
  • Whose quaint, homely stories were often filled with wit and humor and that made the point clearly.
  • Who campaigned for the the US Senate denouncing Stephen Douglas’popular sovereignty” doctrine.
  • Who received 110 ballots for nomination as Vice-President at the 1856 Republican National Convention.
  • Who delivered his “House Divided” speech at the Republican State convention of 1858.
  • Who challenged his opponent, Stephen Douglas, to seven debates across the state of Illinois in the 1858 Senatorial campaign.
  • Who from 1858 to 1860 made speeches throughout many states defining the Republican Party’s position.
  • Who won the Republican Party nomination and was elected President of the United States in 1860.
  • Who left Illinois after 30 years to seek to keep those same States “United.”
  • Whose body was returned to Illinois in 1865 for entombment in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield”
  • Hermon A. MacNeil's "Lincoln Lawyer" at the University of Illinois

  • “Now he belongs to the Ages”

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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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